EV drivers say public charging inadequate

Nearly half of electric car buyers in the country do not know where their nearest public charging station is.

According to new research by What Car?, based on feedback from 1483 in-market buyers, 47% of electric vehicle buyers do not know where their nearest public charging station is.

Previous research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found the UK needs to invest up to £16.7bn towards public charging stations by 2035 to support mass EV adoption, requiring more than 500 new devices installed per day.

With such a significant investment required, What Car?’s research found just nine per cent of all buyers surveyed believe the UK’s public charging network is currently good enough for them to make the switch to an electric vehicle. Likewise, just 14% of fully electric vehicle buyers told What Car? the public charging network alone could support them in making the switch, with the majority set to rely on home charging.

This suggests many new owners will rely extensively on home charging when using their electric vehicle, with public charging limited to a reserve role.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “While manufacturers are working on reducing costs and increasing range, the public charging infrastructure will need significant investment in the coming years. Most EV buyers tell us they are not confident enough in the public network supporting their electric vehicle, and will have to rely on home charging – a luxury many potential EV buyers do not have, especially in urban areas.”