Only 2% of UK’s on-street chargers meet needs of disabled drivers

Just 2.3% of the UK’s on-street EV chargers have been designed or adapted for disabled motorists, according to new research.

A survey of 223 local councils by Vauxhall found that only 450 of the recorded 19,456 on-street charge points in the UK have been adapted specifically for the considerations of disabled drivers, 18 months after basic accessibility standards were laid out.

The PAS 1899:2022 guidelines were introduced in 2022 to provide a minimum standard of accessibility at public charge points but since then it appears little progress has been made in rolling these standards out.

The Freedom of Information request by Vauxhall revealed that only 238 devices are known to conform to the PAS 1899 standard – just 1.2% of the country’s total on-street devices. And just 105 EV chargers are located in disabled parking bays to make access easier.

In London, home to 60% of the UK’s on-street chargers, not a single device has been adapted for disabled users, and just 12 are located in disabled parking bays, according to councils’ responses.

The PAS 1899 standards are a voluntary set of rules that include guidance on everything from the placement and physical design of chargers to the maximum forces required to lift and manoeuvre charging cables.

According to leading disability support charity, the Motability Foundation, there are more than 16 million people with disabilities in the UK and it predicts that 1.35 million disabled drivers will be partially or fully reliant on public charging infrastructure by 2035.

James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall, commented: “As this new research very clearly demonstrates, accessibility is an area of electric vehicle charging infrastructure which requires immediate attention.

“The focus typically falls on charger numbers and charging times, but accessibility is a fundamental factor in ensuring the switch to EVs is both practical and inclusive. Currently, this is a significant barrier for Britain’s disabled motorists wishing to switch to EVs – particularly those who have no home charging capability.”

The figures were highlighted as part of Vauxhall’s ongoing Electric Streets campaign, which aims to support the estimated 40% of drivers who do not have the ability to access at-home off-street charging.

Taylor added: “It is imperative that the switch to electric is made possible for all, and at Vauxhall we want to ensure everybody is brought along on this journey. While there are recent set guidelines in place to support disabled drivers, they are not mandatory.

“Our research shows that their implementation is very limited and that needs to change if on-street charging provision is to meet the needs of all motorists. We ask drivers to register their personal needs for on-street charging through to ensure all voices are heard on the UK’s journey towards electrification.”

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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.