Despite the many inroads made into boosting Britain’s electric car charging infrastructure last year, it seems that it wasn’t enough in some aspects, as the latest research from British automotive service company RAC shows.
The Department for Transport, which according to its pledge made in 2022, was supposed to have six or more rapid or ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers at every motorway service area in England by the end of 2023, fell “well short” of its target. In fact, according to RAC, only 40 per cent of England’s roads currently meet the required criteria.
As many studies have shown in the past, long-term range anxiety is one of the biggest hindrances obstructing the uptake of electric vehicles amongst the British populace. One way to resolve this anxiety is the presence of a reliable, accessible charging infrastructure on the country’s motorways, making long-distance emission-free travel via cars possible.
In December, the RAC, a breakdown cover and insurance provider, looked at data from charger locator business Zapmap. It found that 178 additional faster EV chargers had been installed since April.
However, only 46 of 119 sites now had six of these high-powered charging facilities in place. Rapid charge points can add about 100 miles of range to an electric vehicle (EV) in around 35 minutes. RAC said that “worryingly”, four have no charging facilities whatsoever: Leicester Forest on both sides of the M1, Tebay South on the M6, and Barton Park on the A1(M).
RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams told ev.tips: “It’s clear from our research that the Government has fallen well short of its target of having six high-powered chargers at every motorway service area in England. While that’s the case, some very good progress has been made since the end of April when we last carried out our survey, with four-in-10 services now having met or exceeded the target number of EV chargers, compared to just under a quarter eight months ago.
“There is undoubtedly an eagerness among charge point companies and motorway service operators to install these types of units but unfortunately, it’s often the high-power cabling to the grid that’s the major barrier which is out of their hands. More clearly needs to be done to make this process simpler than it is currently. Hopefully, once the Government’s Rapid Charging Fund kicks fully into action some of these hurdles will be overcome.
“We continue to believe that the wide availability of ultra-rapid charging is crucial in giving both current and future EV drivers confidence to know they can easily make journeys beyond the range of their vehicles in a time-efficient way.”
The Telegraph also reported that although the Government wanted around 6,000 of these charge points on strategic roads by 2035, so far, only 581 have been installed on England’s motorways. There would be at least 714 if the Government had met its target for 2023.