3 in 4 drivers expect councils to lead public charging roll-out

Three quarters of drivers want their local councils to be the main driving force behind more on-street charging, according to new research.

A poll of motorists by Vauxhall found that only one in 10 was happy with the current on-street charging provision in their area and the majority thought it was the responsibility of the local authority to improve the situation.

The new research was conducted ahead of England and Wales’ local and mayoral elections and found that only 25% of respondents noticed issues around charging infrastructure playing a role in the political manifestos and canvassing of local candidates.

According to Vauxhall, only 30% of respondents say motorists who own or want to own an EV are supported by their local council, with numbers noticeably lower in regions outside of London. On average across UK regions, only 10% of drivers told Vauxhall they were happy with the levels of on-street charging in their area, with satisfaction rates in Wales dropping to as low as 4%.

New data from the Department for Transport shows that on-street chargers are the most common type of public devices but they are not evenly distributed around the country, with a far higher ratio of chargers to people in London than anywhere else in the country. The DfT report also noted that only some councils were taking advantage of government funding to help the installation of on-street chargers, with most of the roll-out being led by private businesses.

The Vauxhall research found London was the only region of the country where the majority of motorists (60%) say EV drivers are supported by their local council. London was also the only area where over 50% of drivers noticed issues around EV infrastructure playing a role in political campaigning.

James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall, said: “Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is just one of many concerns that should be discussed in great detail ahead of this year’s local and mayoral elections. While recent figures show charge point numbers are increasing, our latest research highlights how drivers are increasingly reliant on their local authorities to make sure infrastructure needs are being met.

“Our Electric Streets of Britain initiative was launched to support local authorities, working with our partners to educate councils on the importance of installing more accessible on-street charging to ensure no driver is left behind on the UK’s journey to electric.

“We hope to see local councils listening to these drivers who are reliant on their support to provide confidence and ensure motorists across the country feel they can join the electric transition efficiently and safely.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.