Poor network coverage disrupting EV charging

Limited mobile network coverage could be disrupting the EV charging process at a number of public charge points.

According to the RAC Foundation, about two thirds of Britain’s most common type of public chargepoints have limited mobile signal connectivity, meaning it is  more difficult for drivers to access apps, unlock EV chargers and make payments.

Of the 53,677 public charging devices in the UK at the start of 2024, 31,910 offer speeds of up to 8kw. These are not required to offer contactless payment, with drivers instead having to use apps.

However, limited mobile phone coverage could be impacting the ease with which drivers can access these networks.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In many instances the mobile phone has become the key to unlocking the potential of the electric car. Unfortunately, that key does not always work.

“We rely on a good mobile connection to pay for parking and to unlock electric chargers. But all these systems need to be designed with an eye sharply focused on real-world network coverage, which is often patchy, sometimes non-existent, and not about to become infinitely better.

“Where signal connectivity at a chargepoint is a problem drivers might conclude that the charger is at fault hence undermining the confidence we should be building in the reliability of public charging options for electric vehicles.”