The UK has set a date when it will no longer allow new diesel or petrol vehicles to be sold to consumers, with that date coming in just nine years time. It’s a vitally important step on our road to net zero, but we need to ensure that the transition to fully electric driving brings everyone along for the ride.
This week, Motability announced that it was partnering with Designability to help make it easier for those with disabilities to access electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This really opened my eyes to how difficult life can be for disabled people who have to contend with the current network of EV chargers that are available all across the UK.
As an electric vehicle owner myself, I’ve realised that life with an electric vehicle isn’t exactly difficult, but for those with disabilities there are quite significant obstacles to overcome. J
ust some of the examples I’ve seen at charging stations across the UK include; stiff cables that are hard to bend into a car’s port, or the lack of space in between individual charging spaces. I’ve also experienced high kerbs between the charger and the parking space — all inconveniences for those of us who are able bodied, but could represent a serious nightmare for those with disabilities.
If we want everyone to join us on the electric vehicle revolution, we as an industry need to ensure that the chargers we are installing are accessible to all. That means working with clients to ensure they understand the needs of those with disabilities and addressing that in both the design and installation phase of any project involving the commissioning of new electric vehicle charging points.
It’s not hard to stop and think about those who may not have the same dexterity or strength as us, or those who may just need a little extra room to get out of their vehicle. Only then can we truly be on the path to a green revolution.
This editorial originally appeared in the Electrical Review Newsletter dated March 25, 2021. To ensure you receive these editorials direct to your inbox, subscribe to the newsletter now.