Local authorities falling short on EV strategies, study finds

Only 14% of local authorities in the UK have a dedicated resource for implementing a new EV infrastructure, a new report has found.

A new study from Liberty Charge shows local strategies are falling massively behind Government ambitions with only 10% (30,290) of the 300,000 charge points wanted by Government so far installed, and 90% of households still being more than a five-minute walk from their nearest charge point.

Some 75% of interviewed local authorities quoted budgetary issues as a barrier to infrastructure adoption with a further 59% pointing to a lack of guidance from central government as to where charge points should be located as the key reasons the installation rate is falling behind.

The results are particularly disappointing given the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda that seeks to benefit less affluent areas in realising the benefits of an electric future. One in seven drivers admit they won’t switch to driving an EV until convenient infrastructure is in place; 11 million households currently have no access to off-street charging at home.

Almost three quarters (70%) of local authorities believe Government spending should be repositioned to level the social inequity and improve accessibility in deprived or rural areas, rather than centrally located urban environments.

In addition, 77% agree that investment from central Government should be focused on ensuring every household, regardless of postcode has access to a charge point.

Neil Isaacson, CEO Of Liberty Charge says the report highlights a number of concerns, including the lack of support to local authorities: “We work very closely with many local bodies and in truth, the rollout of EV charge points is a brand new concept to many. We cannot just expect they all have the relevant experience and knowledge of how these networks work, nor can we just leave them to figure it out.

“There needs to be a cohesive strategy from the Government as to how we tackle the challenges of resourcing, and having just 15 hours a week to dedicate to the issue is not enough to create a sufficient network for all drivers begin making the switch.”

As part of its EV strategy release in March, the Government assigned £50 million to local authority resource for the entire UK EV network. However, Liberty Charge believes this to cover just one person in each authority for two years, which is not sufficient for the long term.