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UK Needs More Plug-In Points for EVs

Recently, industry publication Auto Express’ Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fowler, argued that the UK needs more plug-in points for electric vehicles, which are fast-becoming more popular with consumers.

Surging market

Consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious. With each passing day, more people are buying electric cars, to be more environmentally friendly. The Guardian reports that globally, electric car sales are set to eclipse the two million mark by the end of this year. With the electric car consumer base growing constantly, more premium brands are moving into this market. Once upon a time, it was dominated by Tesla and Nissan, whose 'Leaf' car is the world’s best-selling electric vehicles. But at the recently held 2016 Paris Motor Show, saw VW and Mercedes uncovered new concept electric cars and they are far from the only companies moving into this sector. In his recent article, Fowler points to a number of electric car models making waves right now. BMW’s version, for example, now comes with a 94Ah battery pack which gives it a potential range of 195-miles. He also cited figures which show that there were 2,128 pure electric cars and 4,135 plug-in hybrids registered in the UK in September 2016 alone, rising 37.4% and 69.4% on September 2015.

Inadequate facilities

Fowler noted that the UK needs more plug-in points, to "keep up with demand." Drawing on his own experiences, he said that in the car park he regularly uses, there are just three plug-in points, so "it’s a regular rush to be in to claim one of them before other electric vehicle-driving commuters arrive." With normal cars also parking in plug-in spaces all too often, there is a real need for more points. According to The Times, there are statistics to back up Fowler’s arguments. The government plans to make one in ten new cars low-emission by 2020. Yet the UK’s current electric car charging station infrastructure is patchy, with up to 200,000 people having to share points. The Times notes that the Orkney Islands possesses more charging points than Hull, Blackpool and Grimsby combined. It’s important to point out that some progress is being made in this area. Auto Express quotes figures which suggest that there are currently 8,500 petrol stations within the UK, along with just over 4,000 public electric car charging points. Estimates indicate that by 2020, the number of electric car charging points will begin to outnumber fuel station, as consumers increasingly buying electric vehicles.

Embracing the future

Fowler does make a valid point. Consumers are increasingly turning to electric cars and hybrids, yet at present, there aren’t enough charging points. But figures suggest that local boroughs and the government are realising that they need to install more charging points, as the UK goes electric.

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