The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has published a new seven-point plan to ensure every driver in Britain can benefit from an electric vehicle charging network that is affordable, available and accessible to all.
The plan, designed to drive collaboration between government, industry and other stakeholders, calls for mandated targets for infrastructure rollout, backed by an independent regulator to keep consumers at the heart of planning.
It says car makers have invested billions to drive EV uptake, and buyers are responding, with one in six new cars registered in 2021 coming with a plug. But it warns that the pace of chargepoint rollout is failing to keep up. For example, between 2019 and 2021, battery electric cars in the parc rose by 586.8%, whereas standard charger stock grew by only 69.8% and the SMMT says there are clear disparities on charge point provision across the regions.
“With increasing competition for charging, it’s little wonder that range anxiety has now been replaced by charging anxiety and the situation risks holding back the market, which is still at an early stage,” comments Chief Executive Mike Hawes. “It’s why SMMT is calling for a new regulatory body – Ofcharge – to monitor the market, including charging price levels and affordability, and to enforce regulated minimum standards.
“This would keep the consumer at the heart of infrastructure planning and rollout to ensure every region of the UK is in readiness for the end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, with a unified approach bringing together drivers, chargepoint operators, energy companies and local authorities.”
The seven point plan is:
- Embed consumer-centricity in policy and a national plan on charging infrastructure
- Develop and implement a nationally coordinated but locally delivered infrastructure plan
- Invest significantly to uplift all types of charging infrastructure, particularly public chargers, ahead of need
- Set binding targets to ensure adequate public chargepoint provision and social equity
- Enact proportionate regulation to deliver the best outcomes for consumer experience and expansion of provision
- Provide adequate enabling support to incentivise and facilitate delivery of charging infrastructure
- Ensure electricity networks are future-proofed and fit for purpose for zero emission mobility
(Graphic – SMMT)