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DfT reveals best and worst places for charging electric cars

Words: Huw Morris

Drivers of electric cars should avoid the Isles of Scilly and Barrow-in-Furness as neither local authority area has any public charging points, according to government data.

League tables of the UK regions with the most charging points, unveiled by the Department for Transport, also reveal that the much vaunted electric car revolution is struggling to put the key in ignition in Wales.

Rhondda Cynon Taf has only three public car chargers for every 100,000 local authority areas and Welsh principal areas. Caerphilly and the Vale of Glamorgan only have four and five chargers per 100,000 people respectively.

Outside Wales, the worst county is Essex with only nine public chargers for every 100,000 people.

However, London has the highest concentration of points in the UK with almost 4,000 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the region. Scotland has more than 1,500 charging devices, with the North West, South East and South West just behind. In these regions, Glasgow City, Manchester and Liverpool cities, and Milton Keynes are among the best performing local authorities.

The data reveals that there are 15,000 public electric vehicle charging points in the UK but 58 local authorities still have fewer than 10. More than 100 council had fewer than 10 public chargers per 100,000 population.

A study by Capital Economics for ScottishPower last month estimated that the UK will need 25.3 million chargers in 2050 to hit the legal target of net zero carbon emissions, the equivalent of installing 4,000 day. While most of these will be privately owned, 2.6 million will be needed in public places.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said that someone’s postcode "should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car”. He has written to local authorities across the country, urging them to take advantage of funding on offer to build up their electric car charging infrastructure and to increase local access to charge points for drivers.

Funding for electric vehicle charge points remains available in 2019/20 through schemes including the on-street residential charge point scheme, the workplace charging scheme and the electric vehicle home charge scheme.

In September, the government announced a £400 million charging infrastructure investment fund, which aims to catalyse private investment in charging infrastructure. It is also consulting on requiring charge points be built into all new homes with a parking space.

Image credit | iStock