Home Business NewsBusiness Rise in public charge points alone make no difference to EV adoption by motorists without driveways

Rise in public charge points alone make no difference to EV adoption by motorists without driveways

by LLB Editor
1st Aug 23 9:04 am

Motorists who can’t charge at home are over five times less likely to switch to electric cars and the huge improvement in public charging over the years hasn’t changed that. There is a fundamental problem in how we view EV charging and we must address it, says Joel Teague, CEO of electric vehicle charger sharing app Co Charger.

The EV landscape has changed dramatically over the past four years. Back in 2019 there were 97,565 EVs on the road. By May 2023 there were 784,968 (SMMT May 2023). The number of public chargers has also changed. In 2019 there were 16,971, by May 2023 that had increased to 43,626 (Zapmap).

But one statistic has remained constant throughout: 84% of EV owners charged at home in 2019 and that is still the case in 2023 (Zapmap survey). Despite the sales of EVs increasing and public chargers becoming more widespread and reliable, almost exactly the same proportion of EV sales are to motorists who can charge at home, while motorists who cannot remain five times more likely to keep buying fossil fuel vehicles.

It is estimated that around half of UK motorists can’t access home charging because they live in flats, terraced houses or rental accommodation. The fact that these people have remained a small minority of EV buyers despite the huge improvements in public charging indicates that they do not see public charging as a viable alternative to charging at home. Given the huge advantages offered by home charging in terms of convenience, cost and dependability, this seems understandable.

‘There’s been an assumption by government and the EV industry of ‘build it and they will come’, says Joel Teague.

“For years we’ve seen, built into research, presentations, plans and projects, the premise that if you build enough public charge points, people without driveways will buy EVs. But the focus on public charging infrastructure is actually alienating people without driveways. They’re being repeatedly told that the increase in public chargers means they should switch. However most don’t want to spend their time finding an available, working public charger and then staying close to it for an hour or two while the vehicle is charging to avoid an overstay fine. Nor can they balance the extra price of the car if they have to pay public charging costs, which are far higher.”

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