Electric car charging ‘not where it needs to be’ as driver pays but gets no charge
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Channel 5’s Should I Buy an Electric Car? follows actor and radio host Alexis Conran takes an in-depth look at electric cars as he looks at how Britain will make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric. In the episode, he finds out whether the UK is equipped for the demand needed when electric vehicles dominate the roads after the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
Alexis trials a Ford Mustang Mach-E, an all electric SUV which retails for around £43,000.
As part of the programme, Alexis tries to use public chargers to address his own “range anxiety”.
This is frequently one of the key concerns drivers have about switching to an electric vehicle.
After finding an electric car charger, placed on a telephone pole, Alexis left his vehicle for around an hour.
When he returned, he said: “Let’s see if we have got charge. No. Nothing happened there.
“I’m not quite sure if I’ve been charged. I’ve been charged £6 for no electricity at all. Lovely.
“No luck at my first public charger, but it might have been user error. I don’t know.”
Mr Conran also spoke with Transport Minister Trudy Harrison MP, who has been one of the key figureheads for the push towards electric vehicles in recent years.
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He questioned the MP for Copeland in Cumbria about the state of the UK’s charging infrastructure and whether it was sufficient enough for the massive changes coming in the next eight years.
In response, she said: “We’re investing in making sure that no driveway is no problem. We absolutely accept that [the infrastructure] is not where it needs to be, but it’s gotten a lot better.
“We’re really, really improving things. Is it there yet? Of course it’s not. We probably need 10 times the amount of public chargers.”
Alexis compared the UK infrastructure to that of the Netherlands, pointing out that there are 66,000 public chargers.
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Current statistics from Zap-Map show there are 31,507 charging points across the UK, across 19,707 charging locations.
This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since April 2021.
It is estimated that the UK will need 1.7 million public chargers by 2030 and 2.8 million by 2035, meaning 507 new chargers would need to be installed every day for the next 15 years.
The Government’s EV Infrastructure Strategy, which was unveiled in March, includes a £450million fund that local authorities can use to expand charging facilities in their area.
It is hoped this will lead to drivers having access to around 300,000 public chargers by 2030, a number that is five times higher than the number of fuel pumps in UK filling stations.
As part of the new plan, the Department for Transport has also announced that it will become mandatory for charge point operators to accept contactless payments and meet a 99 percent reliability standard.
Also in the episode, Alexis visits a service garage to see what the future will spell for garages and electric car owners.
Electric cars generally only contain around 20 moving parts, meaning running costs are far cheaper.
EV owners could save over £100 per service with the minimal checks needed, which was highlighted as one of many savings that could be made over the total cost of ownership.
Should I Buy an Electric Car? is on Channel 5 tonight at 6pm.
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