29.6.2011 UK needs better EV infrastructure
Two thirds of motorists (65.7%) say they would be more likely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) if charging posts were more readily available at roadsides and in car parks across the UK.
With the second round of the Plugged-In-Places scheme confirmed, Government funding will be supporting EV infrastructure roll-out in several cities and regions across the country – but how quickly?
Of the 1,417 that participated in the survey, which was conducted this month on behalf of EV infrastructure provider Elektromotive, only 7.8% said that the greater availability of charging posts would not make them more likely to by an EV. Over a quarter (26.5%) of those surveyed said they were 'undecided', suggesting that a significant minority still need to be persuaded about the viability and benefits of EVs.
The Government is currently operating an incentive scheme that enables consumers to save £5,000 on the purchase price of a new EV. However, only 534 grant applications were made in the whole of the UK during the first quarter of 2011 when the scheme started, and the Elektromotive survey suggests that the lack of a widespread, publicly-available recharging infrastructure could be one of the main factors holding back EV demand.
Elektromotive is currently the UK's leading provider of EV charging stations, and so far has installed over 600 Elektrobay charging stations in public and private car parks and on roadsides across the country. The company says many more charging stations need to be installed in order to eliminate 'range anxiety', where motorists fear they will run out of power between charges.
"The development of electric vehicles has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, but many consumers are understandably concerned that if they buy a new EV they might not be able to easily charge it when away from home or the workplace," comments Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director of Elektromotive. "It's clear that much more needs to be done to create the charging infrastructures that are essential to underpin mainstream acceptance of EVs."
He adds, "We are finding there are still huge misconceptions and confusion about electric vehicles, not just from the public but, surprisingly, from within the motor industry too. People are unsure how EV batteries charge, the physics and science of amps and volts, the range, running costs and the types of chargers available and their capabilities. It's actually not that complex and Elektromotive will be working with industry partners to educate potential EV drivers about the various benefits of ownership."
Elektromotive has developed several variants of its Elektrobay charging station for use by passenger cars, public service vehicles and commercial vehicles. Its extensive range of products, including the new Elektrobay Rapid Charger, is helping Elektromotive lead the installation of EV charging infrastructures in the UK and overseas.
Charging points from several providers are being installed in public locations across the UK at an increasingly rapid rate – once people become familiar which seeing them, and realise that they are widespread, the EV is likely to pick up.
To see an up-to-date map showing every charge point from all manufactures in the UK, see Next Green Car's Zap Map.
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