Electric car sales

overtaking charge


Smart electric drive fortwo, charging

THE pace of plug-in electric car ownership is growing fast but there is evidence that the sales progress of these cars may not be matched by the growth and sometimes reliability of public charging points.

Website Click4Reg.co.uk analysed data sourced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and found that in 2017 alone, there have been 94,093 electric vehicles registered, up from 69,933 registered last year - a 34.54 per cent increase.

So far this year, March saw the highest number of electric vehicles registered (22,816), and September was second highest, with 22,619 purchases.

Obviously the rise in the number of electric vehicles bought could be down to the government's Plug-in Car Grant, which began in January 2011, to help people save as much as £4,500 on a selection of electric cars to reduce the number of petrol and diesel cars on the road.

Despite the rise in electric vehicles on the roads, Click4Reg has found that although the number of charge points are increasing, there are simply not enough.

Demand is soaring, but reliability of some points is causing deep concern.

As of June 2017, there were 12,849 electric vehicle charging connectors on 6,913 devices in 4,476 locations across the UK - an increase from 2011, when 1,537 charging points were available.

Research by Click4Reg has found that of all charge points situated around the UK, 22 per cent (2,984) were situated in Greater London. Scotland had the second highest number of charge points at 2,015 (14.8 per cent), followed by the South East with an estimated 1,753 charge points for electric cars.

With 2,555 less than London, Wales had the least amount of charge points available at 429.

According to the RAC Foundation, the UK charge point network is "not attractive to use". Since June 2017, a staggering 13 per cent of charging points did not work, which equates to around 900 less charge points available to electric vehicle users.

Consequently, 80 per cent of EV owners have access to home charging points according to charging point locator Zap-Map. With a government grant, home-charging points cost about £300 to install, while several electric car manufacturers provide them as part of the sales package.

But what about the people who do not always have access to off street parking? In outer London, 35 per cent of households have no off-street parking available to charge an EV, and inside London, the number almost doubles to 63 per cent.

In the survey, Click4Reg asked electric vehicle owners questions ranging from how happy they were with their electric vehicle, to how impressed they were with the supply and demand of public charge points.

A total of 91 per cent were happy with their electric vehicle and wouldn't consider going back to a conventional model. But 96 per cent of electric vehicle owners were dissatisfied with public charge points.

With 88 per cent of those questioned saying the public charging points are too unreliable, being either broken, or have cars using them as parking spaces etc. this whole question causes great concern.


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