UK: Councils won’t install enough on-street chargers by 2025

Centrica, a UK energy company which also owns British Gas, has released new research which reveals that councils are planning to install an average of only 35 on-street electric vehicle chargers, between now and 2025.

The average is based on pure numbers and taken with a grain of salt until we come to the regional difference. The raw data is solid, though. Centrica had commissioned the study under a Freedom of Information request to over 400 councils.

Results show that 7,682 on-street chargers currently installed across the UK and only a further 9,317 are planned to be rolled out by 2025.

The company considers this to leave drivers without a driveway “a long way behind” when the UK will switch to EVs in 2030 as reported.

However, the RFI revealed differences between regions. Southern English councils are set to install two and a half times as many on-street EV chargers by 2025 than councils in Northern England, the Midlands, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined, says Centrica. This comes down to a remarkable 6,713 vs 2,604 respectively.
“The latest figures show that southern councils have also plugged in 1,203 more chargers into their streets over the last three years than their northern counterparts,” the report further suggests.

It also included a survey among drivers. More than 4 in 10 (41%) drivers agreed that there is a North/South divide in council funding for charge point installations, says Centrica.

They further suggest that 126 councils across the UK have no concrete plans at all to install any more EV chargers than they already have between now and the end of 2025. These include Bridgend, Fermanagh & Omagh, Dumfries & Galloway, Havering and Warrington.

With less than 10,000 on-street chargers planned to be installed by 2025, Centrica sees a “clear gap” between supply and demand. In 2019 alone, there were 2,835 requests for on-street charging made to councils. This increased 5 % to 2,989 requests lodged to councils by September 2020 and with EV adoption increasing, so will demand. Or else, will be reduced to those with a garage. Consequently, the report concludes with a call for councils or the central government to up their game or risks losing many drivers without a driveway.

Centrica points to government funding that will be doubled to £10 million to install charge points on residential streets next year. This could fund up to 3,600 more charge points across the country, the company estimates.

Centrica itself has recently made a deal with Alfen through British Gas. They will use the chargers of the Dutch company to equip their premises. Besides, Centrica plans to offer Alfen chargers to business customers who want to electrify their fleets to develop a ‘Smart Energy Management Package’. So they are also making a business case here.

Centrica plc is an international energy company and owner of British Gas, Centrica Hive, Direct Energy, Bord Gais, and others. Its principal activity is the supply of electricity and gas to consumers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It also provides energy solutions to businesses worldwide.


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