The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has published a seven-point plan calling for binding targets regarding the rollout of charging infrastructure across the UK.
This nationally coordinated plan has been put forward to ensure every driver in Britain can benefit from an EV charging network that is affordable, available, and accessible.
It requires collaboration between the government, industry, and all other stakeholders so that consumers are placed at the heart of planning.
Currently, the number of public chargers is not keeping pace with the number of EVs joining UK roads.
Between 2019 and 2021, plug-in cars on the road grew by 280.3% but standard chargepoints grew by just 69.8% during the same period.
Coupled with this is that more than a third of British households do not have off-street parking. What is more, there are stark regional disparities in access to chargepoints as we reported earlier this year. This is important because a lack of available public chargers is likely to deter people from making the switch to an EV.
One aspect of the plan outlined by the SMMT is to introduce a new regulatory body called ‘Ofcharge’ (the office for Charging).
This organisation would govern these targets, monitor the market, including charging price levels and affordability, and enforce regulated minimum standards.
The approach would put the consumer at the front and centre of infrastructure planning so that all regions of the UK are prepared for an electric future.
“Our plan puts the consumer at the heart of this transition, assuring them of the best possible experience backed by an independent regulator,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive.
“With clear, equivalent targets and support for operators and local authorities that match consumer needs, government can ensure the UK has a chargepoint network that makes electric mobility a reality for all, cutting emissions, driving growth and supporting consumers across the UK.”
Commenting on the EV charger mandate, Connected Kerb’s chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones, said: “Regional disparities in public electric vehicle charging rollouts must not prevent drivers from realising the huge benefits of driving electric. Only by overcoming these disparities can we achieve a fair and equal transition to cleaner transport. We welcome the SMMT’s call for new standards that would guarantee social equity in provision of charge points and ensure no one is left behind in the UK’s electric vehicle transition.”