The automotive group RAC has raised concerns that the sluggish proliferation of fast chargers could slow the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) after government statistics released last week showed that less than a fifth of new chargers are capable of providing fast or ultra-fast. charging time.
While the number of government chargers for EVs increased by 7,600-37 percent last year, the share of chargers capable of powering cars on batteries in about an hour or less actually fell 1 percent from last year, the group warned.
Many standard charging points, such as those installed at home, can take several hours to ensure that the EV battery is fully charged, and are therefore often used to charge cars overnight when not in use. However, because many electrician drivers need to recharge their cars on the road, for example, during long highway trips, ultra-fast charging points capable of delivering much-needed energy batteries in a much faster time are seen as crucial to encouraging wider EV adoption.
However, in early February, faster chargers accounted for only 18 per cent of the UK total market, while in 2021 only 1,276 new fast and ultra-fast chargers were installed, according to RAC.
Sarah Winward-Kotecha, RAC’s director of electric vehicles, warned that the slow deployment of fast chargers could create significant problems for drivers who will depend solely on the public charging network.
“This creates a real problem for motorists who rely on the public network because they can’t charge at home,” she said. “And while slow chargers are suitable for those who leave the car in the office while they’re at work, they’re much less useful in other places, such as supermarkets, where the driver’s car will be parked for a shorter period of time. I don’t want to see that queue to charging points become commonplace as the electrical revolution picks up. ”
Winward-Kotecha welcomed the significant growth of the EV charging point market in 2021, noting that from October to December, more charging points were installed than in any previous three-month period. But she said taking steps to expand the network of public charging points is only “one piece of the puzzle”, arguing that increasing the speed of chargers “is also extremely important”.
“The more really fast chargers, the easier it becomes to charge on long journeys, and the more often other drivers can turn over and use the charging space,” she said. “In terms of convenience, having the fastest public chargers available to drivers is truly a win-win charging experience – provided they are fair.”
To prevent drivers who are unable to charge at home from incurring disproportionate costs, the RAC has called for a reduction in VAT on utility charges from 20 per cent today to just 5 per cent, which will reflect the rate currently charged from electricity bills in country.
RAC-backed FairCharge argues that the current tax policy is “illogical” because it will mean that EV drivers without home charging will pay four times more electricity for their car than those who can to be charged at home. Ultimately, this disparity could hinder EV’s enthusiasm, it is warned.
The RAC is the latest in a series of calls to reform the EV charging market. This week What is a consumer organization? and SMMT industry body both published separate roadmaps on how government and industry could ensure that deploying charging infrastructure in the UK does not marginalize drivers without access to charging at home, and later even called on the government to set up new watchdogs to oversee the introduction of EV charging.
Want to help celebrate and showcase the best of the green economy? You can now take part in the 2022 BusinessGreen Leaders Awards and get a chance to join us at the UK’s largest and most prestigious green business award this summer.