Reaction to government’s £1.6 billion EV charging announcement

Leading figures from the UK electric vehicle industry have issued their responses to the government’s tenfold expansion in electric vehicle chargers by 2030.

Ian Johnston, the CEO of Osprey Charging said: “Today’s announcement by the government is an important step towards ensuring that we have the right number of charging points in all locations across the UK. This is crucial to give everyone the confidence that when they make the switch to electric, they will be able to charge as easily as they refuel today – whenever and wherever they are. These charging stations simply must be reliable, easy to navigate and importantly, accessible for all.

“There are already many billions of pounds of private investment committed for the deployment of charging infrastructure across the UK from leading networks like Osprey, and the announcements today will allow this funding to provide the critical infrastructure to the areas that are as yet underserved – notably the motorway service areas and the Local Authority towns and cities across the nation. We look forward to working with the government to help bring this strategy to life, delivering a high quality, inclusive, open-access and reliable charging network that’s worry free, comfortable and enjoyable to use.”

Joel Teague, CEO of Co-Charger, said: “The Government’s 1.6 billion Electric Vehicle Infrastructure strategy proposals show a welcome commitment to EV uptake. ‘We are especially pleased to see the Government highlighting the need for resilience and reliability – to date this has been a major issue. It’s frustrating when motorists travel to public chargers only to find them not working. Trust in the infrastructure is essential for an effective transition to EVs. However, we do have reservations about some of the proposals – for example, insisting that all the current infrastructure uses contactless payments could be challenging and make the roll out slower and more expensive.”

Aidan McClean, co-founder and CEO of UFODRIVE: “The Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy has not come a moment too soon – for both the EV market and Britain’s efforts in battling climate change. When the Government acts decisively, it not only gives consumers the confidence to continue buying EVs, but also gives the private sector the impetus to invest, build and contribute towards this future.

“This is a great start, but more will be needed – and it is nothing without telling the truth about Electric Vehicles; how vital they are for tackling climate change, and how practical and realistic they can be given the right infrastructure and environment. We hope to see the Government lead with this message.”

Phil Shadbolt OBE of EZ-Charge: “Those of us in EV circles have always been very quick to criticise the government when they’ve got things wrong in the past or when they’ve been too slow to act or too lacking in ambition. So, it’s only fair that we give praise when it’s due.

“Today’s announcement of the new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy delivers the right level of investment and ambition at exactly the right time. This will make a massive difference and will really help the UK become global leaders in electric vehicle adoption.”

Shadbolt added: “The announcement of the new funding is one thing and is certainly very welcome. But it’s the introduction of the new legislation I’m most pleased about.

“For too long many charge point operators have tried to force customers to use only their networks by making them pay a membership fee or download an app to charge. This is not only really inconvenient for electric car drivers, it’s really off-putting to those thinking about making the switch. Forcing operators to do away with these kinds of outdated practices and make the UK’s charging infrastructure work for everybody will be a big step forward.”

Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, commented: “The electric vehicles (EVs) sold now not only help to reduce air pollution, and our fossil fuel use, today but they become the used electric vehicles of tomorrow – enabling more of the UK to transition quicker to zero-emissions-in-use motoring.

“With demand for EVs rising, and an expanding choice of EVs available, we believe that public confidence in a visible, reliable and easy to use charging network is key – especially for those who do not have the luxury of off-street charging.

“Vauxhall recently welcomed the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate announcement – a target on the amount of EVs sold in the UK – on the basis of it taking a 360-degree approach and including complimentary targets on charging infrastructure.

“Whilst we welcome the Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, we feel that it is a missed opportunity to provide certainty to customers by mandating binding targets on the roll-out of the charging infrastructure in the UK. It is essential that infrastructure keeps pace with market demand, or in fact leads demand, to remove any customer fears of ‘charging anxiety’ and accelerates the electrification of Britain’s roads as quickly as possible.”

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