Industry welcomes EV Infrastructure Strategy

The government has unveiled its new EV Infrastructure Strategy, which aims to address concerns around charging capacity for electric vehicles.

It will will explore what electric vehicle chargepoint infrastructure data is needed by local authorities.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Government has rightly recognised that Britain’s electric mobility revolution must put the needs of the consumer at the heart of the transition. Consumers already have certainty about the vehicles, with ever-increasing choice, thanks to billions of pounds of manufacturer investment, but charging infrastructure must keep pace with the rapid growth of sales of these cars.

“The EV infrastructure strategy points in the right direction, addressing problems with the current customer charging experience and setting out a nationally co-ordinated, locally delivered plan which aims to ‘build ahead of need’. The UK already has an enviable and ever-growing rapid charging network, so focus must be given to expanding public on-street and destination charging provision.

“Every stakeholder will have to play their part in this transition but, if industry and consumers are to have the certainty they need to invest, commensurate and binding targets must be set for infrastructure provision. Deployed nationally and at pace, this expansion would give drivers confidence they will be able to charge as easily as they would refuel, wherever they are.”

Meanwhile, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney, said: “This strategy is a major step forward that will give greater confidence to the millions of road users that need to make the switch to electric over the next decade. The recognition for the mix of different charging solutions is crucial. It is not simply about having more chargers, we need the right solutions, placed strategically to be accessible to all drivers.

“We know that government and officials are keen to learn about and support fleets with their infrastructure challenges. As a sector that buys and operates more than 50% of EVs in the UK, we would like to see these priorities acknowledged, with more consideration given to appropriate support and interventions.

“The BVRLA’s Fleet Charging Guide was launched last month and highlights a number of the gaps left by the EV Infrastructure Strategy. We have particular concerns around charge point accessibility for commercial vehicles and believe that the government needs to start planning for HGV-compatible infrastructure as soon as possible.”