The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a major trade association for vehicle manufacturers in the UK, has called for a ‘redoubling of efforts’ to boost the number of EV chargers available to consumers.
Speaking at the 104th SMMT Annual Dinner, Dr George Gillespie OBE, President of the SMMT, noted, “We have invested billions in designing some of the most amazing electrified vehicles – over 115 zero emission capable vehicle models are for sale in the UK right now. We have inspired the public to buy these exciting vehicles in numbers never seen before, but here is the twist. It is so frustrating to find broken chargers, blocked chargers, multiple apps, confusing payment schemes. This is quickly going to turn a lot of people off electric vehicles and all our work in developing these fantastic vehicles will be wasted.”
This is a frequent frustration we also hear from the electrical industry, with everyone in agreement that the charging infrastructure needs to improve. Some have called for the Government to step in, while charging network providers have also recently stepped up their game.
An example of a network provider stepping up their game comes from the news that IONITY is set to quadruple the size of its network across Europe. This is a big win for the UK, as rapid chargers are one of the biggest gaps in the country’s EV charging infrastructure.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “This industry does ‘delivery’. We will decarbonise road transport – cars by 2035, buses likely earlier, HGVs likely only a bit later. But as electric vehicle sales race ahead, on-street charging infrastructure is increasing slowly. We look to the Government to create the conditions – maybe mandate the conditions – to accelerate the infrastructure across the country as we need others to match our speed.”Interestingly enough, the UK Government has stepped in to increase chargers through mandate – at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all new build homes, supermarkets and workplaces in England will soon be required to provide EV charging points.