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UK Gov Must Improve The Electric Car Charging Network NOW – CMA Report Finds

Sun Aug 01 2021

Charging points in the UK need increasing tenfold if the Government has any chance of meeting its goal of banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030

A new report from the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has found the Government need to step up their plans to improve the infrastructure behind electric vehicle (EV) charging to ensure it becomes as simple as filling up with petrol or diesel.

The CMA’s Electric Vehicle Charging Market report has stated the UK will need to increase it’s EV charging points by tenfold before 2030.

 

Currently the UK only has around 25,000 charging points nationwide, with the report estimating between 280,000 to 480,000 will be needed ahead of 2030’s ban om petrol and diesel new builds.

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Rapid charging on longer journeys (such as on motorways and in remote areas) and on-street charging at the kerbside (for those without a driveway or garage) will be particularly important

CMA - Electric Vehicle Charging Market report

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The report was also very critical of the current ‘EV postcode lottery’, with London having around 80 EV charging points per 100,000 people, compared to just 20 per 100,000 in Humber and Yorkshire.

 

Emissions from the transport sector currently account for 27% of all greenhouse emissions in the UK, with cars making up the lion’s share of that %.

If the shift from petrol/diesel to electric vehicles isn’t taken up by the public (and access to charging points will play a large part of that) then the UK has almost no chance of achieving its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The CMA recommend that comprehensive and competitive charging networks are created, networks that people can trust and are confident in using.

 

In related news, the CMA also launched a probe last week into the dominance of a particular EV charging provider, Electric Highway, over their network of fast-charging points at motorway service stations. 

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At most motorway services, there is just one charge point operator - the Electric Highway - leaving little choice for drivers. Customer satisfaction has been very low, driven by concerns about poor reliability and limited chargepoints

CMA - Electric Vehicle Charging Market report

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To help facilitate these changes, the CMA is strongly urging the Government to set out an “ambitious National Strategy for rolling out EV charging between now and 2030, alongside strategies from each of the Devolved Administrations".

That strategy would also need to include significant upgrades to the UK’s electricity grid to enable it to cope with the change in patterns of use.

Other recommendations in the report include:

 

  • Ofgem and Uregni use forthcoming price control reviews to strengthen distribution network operators incentives to speed up EV charging grid connections
  • Government rolls out the Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) as quickly as possible and attaches conditions to this funding to enable competition between charge point operators within each motorway service areas (MSA) site
  • Government considers targeting funding at gaps in the commercial provision of en-route charging in more remote areas.

 

Finally, the CMA have recommend that Local authorities take a much more active role in the planning and management of on-street charging in their localities to help maximise competition and protect their local residents.

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Sun Aug 01 2021

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