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Local Authority Insight Report: EV charging infrastructure stalled, despite Government funding

Not a single council in the UK has delivered on its rollout plan for charge points, with financing the biggest roadblock. 

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Believ’s Local Authority Insight Report has laid bare the shortfall in public charge points compared with national plans for development set out by Westminster, which wants 300,000 by 2030. However, the latest numbers are ‘seriously putting at risk’ that ambition. 

In 2022, around one-fifth of local authorities in a survey of 100 said they aimed to have local charging networks ‘rolled out’ within 12 months, and 72% had set three year targets. Rather than improving on those figures, the new analysis shows that no council has managed to fully implement EV plans, and only 13% expect to achieve this ‘soon’. In total, 34% of respondents had no formal infrastructure plan in place. 

Commonly cited issues include lack of public funding, despite investment from private sources and central Government hitting £57million in 2023. In total, Downing Street has pledged £800million in combined financing, released incrementally over the next two-to-three years. Meanwhile, other authorities have reported a lack of EV ownership, making them unable to justify expenditure. 

The result is an infrastructure backlog which is growing into a major threat to emissions and other environmental plans. Currently, there are 36 drivers to every UK charge point (rising from 31 in 2022), although there are dramatic differences between regions – across the North of England, for example, there are now 85 EV owners for each charge point. 

‘There is no doubt local authorities need more support, more resources and more manpower for the EV charging infrastructure challenges they face,’ said Believ CEO Guy Bartlett. ‘But rather than rely on public sector funding, local authorities can look to the private sector who can plan, install and maintain charge point infrastructure at zero cost to local councils and help them benefit sooner from revenues generated.’

More on transport: 

Car clubs could save Londoners £6,000 per year

Dublin plans to ban cars not bound for city centre

Major upgrade to Leeds City Bikes active travel scheme

Image: Erwan Hesry

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