Sunday, December 5, 2021

Electric car charger plans have been postponed by the government due to criticism of a lack of vision and goals

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The electric vehicle infrastructure strategy is now being released “by the end of the year” as councils warn that the UK has “no targets”

The major government’s plans to build a national network of public chargers that would enable millions of drivers to power electric cars have been postponed. I learned during an investigation.

The councils there also warned of a “lack of coherent strategic direction” as to what and where to build.

At the beginning of the year the government promised to publish a strategy for the electric vehicle infrastructure “this autumn” – but the Ministry of Transport (DfT) now admits that the revised target is “by the end of this year”.

The delay and wider criticism of the lack of action could be embarrassing for Boris Johnson as he tries to achieve international commitments on “coal, cars, cash and trees” at the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow.

A report based on a survey of 84 local authorities warned of “a lack of coherent strategic direction at the national level, including the lack of formulation of the vision for the future and the lack of clarity about the role of the authorities in the Provision of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles should play “. “.

The report commissioned by the Local Government Association emphasized that “there are currently no targets for the provision of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, nor specific powers or obligations for local authorities” and that “the current funding structures are too short-term to allow for strategic measures “. Planning”.

The need for chargers is growing rapidly. Up to 14 million electric vehicles are expected to be in use in the UK by 2030 if sales of new gasoline and diesel models are banned. However, at least 8 million households do not have any off-street parking spaces to install their own chargers.

“There is an urgent need to expand our charging network,” said Mike Hawes, executive director of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders I. “Consumers will only have confidence to invest in a fully electric vehicle if charging is as easy as refueling.” He argued that “mandatory requirements for the infrastructure sector” are “critical”.

Documents indicate that the government has not yet decided whether to oblige local authorities in England and Wales to oversee the installation of chargers, or to take the lead from energy companies or charging station operators. The public consultation on this should not be concluded before November 22nd, although the DfT does not make its infrastructure strategy dependent on the result.

The UK ranks 4th out of 10 major economies in terms of EV readiness, according to consultancy EY, which says it “needs to optimize its charging infrastructure”.

Kerry McCarthy, Labor spokesman for green transport, said: “The UK charging infrastructure is far from ready for mass electric vehicle adoption by 2030.

“Many people in the UK do not have access to off-street parking and in more remote areas the market is unlikely to be up to the challenge … However, we do know that the amount of funding given to local authorities for charging infrastructure between 2020 and. has more than halved in 2021, and that regional inequalities in access to chargers are still enormous. “

In a July report, the Competition and Market Authority criticized the introduction of charging stations in the UK as “too slow” and led to a “zip code lottery” for motorists.

A DfT spokesperson said: “The government has supported the installation of nearly 26,000 publicly accessible chargers and has just committed an additional £ 620 million to support the transition to electric vehicles, including accelerating the rollout of local charging infrastructure across the UK. ”

The DfT encouraged the local councils to use £ 20 million a year national funds “for the introduction of public charging stations in cities”.

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