The Government set a target of having six or more rapid or ultra-rapid charging points at every motorway service station in England by the end of 2023. Research by the RAC into the progress so far appears to suggest that less than a quarter (23-27%) of service stations currently have the required target number of chargers. The figures show an average of 3.4 rapid of ultra-rapid chargers at motorway service stations across the UK.  It has been established that six motorway service stations don’t have any high-powered chargers at all.

There are currently over 810,000 fully electric cars on UK roads and a further 510,000 plug-in hybrids. This figure is up 40% from 2022. With number growing all the time due to the government’s push for cleaner vehicles and the tax penalties for dirty diesels.  The lack of adequate infrastructure is certainly creating a perfect storm.

In March 2022 the government set out their intention to roll out the necessary high-powered chargers across the country by setting up a fund of £950m. They hoped this would give the public the confidence to purchase electric vehicles knowing taking a long journey would not be a problem.

The charging statistics from Zapmap as of the end of June reveal there are 44,408 public electric vehicle charging points, about a fifth of these are rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. RAC’s research suggests that only 5% of these high-powered chargers are situated at motorway services.

The RAC reported that there is a great deal of work to be done to even get close to the government target. Installing these points and connecting to the National Grid is time-consuming and expensive. The process needs to be sped up and made easier in order to reach the goal the government wants of 80% of new cars purchased by 2030 to be electric.

Forecasts predict that by 2030 the UK will require at least 280,000-480,000 public charging points. Looking at the numbers needed the government really must put their foot on the accelerator and push forward at a greater pace.

The high taxation on non-electric vehicles will no doubt increase further down the line, but that will be a harder pill to swallow if the infrastructure is not in place to make electric vehicles more desirable. The public will hit back if the EV charging network is not comprehensive enough and does not cover the UK entirely.

The added problem is these chargers across the country need adequate maintenance. There have been endless reports of broken chargers, which may not be a problem in densely populated cities, where another may be close by. The difficulty lies in more rural areas where the next available charger may be several miles away.

The general public is still split when it comes to purchasing an electric vehicle. Many understand the need for change, but until the issue of enough charging points is addressed there will continue to be people not willing to give up their existing petrol or diesel vehicles.