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UK Government Plans to Reach 300,000 EV Charging Points by 2030 Face Criticism for Slow Rollout

 

The UK government’s plans to have 300,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging points by 2030 have faced criticism from motoring groups, who argue that the rollout is not keeping up with the growing demand.

Currently, there are approximately 30,000 public EV charging points in the UK. The Department for Transport (DfT) aims to significantly increase this number through a £500 million scheme, with £450 million allocated to boost public charging stations and on-street charging for individuals without driveways.

The DfT’s plan, which is part of the £1.6 billion Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, is set to include measures ensuring that drivers can compare prices and pay through contactless card systems. Operators will also be required to provide real-time data on the status of chargepoints and develop apps for customers to locate nearby available charging points. Additionally, a reliability rate of 99% will be mandated for rapid chargepoints.

While the target of 300,000 chargepoints by 2030 seems ambitious, the RAC expressed concerns about its sufficiency to meet the growing demand for EV charging. The motoring group highlighted that the number of chargers needs to be accelerated, as the installation timeline must align with the mass switch to electric vehicles before the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Motoring organizations also stressed the need for attention to rural areas, which currently face a lack of charging infrastructure. They called for increased investment in reliable and accessible charging points to instill confidence in potential electric car drivers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acknowledged that the number of electric vehicles on the roads will eventually lead to a shift from fuel duty to road pricing or tolls. He also emphasized the long-term cost savings of electric cars, despite acknowledging that they are currently slightly more expensive to purchase than petrol or diesel vehicles.

While the government’s plans aim to advance the UK’s charging network and support the growth of the EV market, critics, including Sir John Armitt from the National Infrastructure Commission, argued that more action is needed to bridge the gap between net-zero policy aspirations and actual progress.

As the number of EVs on UK roads continues to rise, the availability, reliability, and accessibility of charging infrastructure will play a pivotal role in enabling a smooth transition to electric mobility and achieving the country’s sustainability goals.

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