Nearly three-quarters of electric vehicle (EV) owners are dissatisfied with the UK’s public charging system, according to a new survey.
The survey of almost 1,500 drivers of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, carried out by Which? highlights the difficulties many motorists face in finding a charger that works.
Some 74% of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the charging infrastructure.
Two in five (40%) reported encountering a charger that didn’t work, while 61% had difficulty making payments.
The vast majority of EV owners (84%) who use public chargers want the option to pay with a contactless bank card, according to the survey.
Most charging points require drivers to pay through an app.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents estimated that the closest public street charging point to their home is more than a 20-minute walk away.
Government urges to do more
Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection Policy at Which?, said: “Our research shows that public EV charging infrastructure is falling short, as many drivers struggle to find reliable charging points in good working order. , have to navigate confusing payment systems, or are unable to find convenient charging points close to home or on a long journey.
“The government must move quickly to implement its plans to improve the consumer experience of using public charging networks by extending reliability standards across the network and ensuring that paid roaming proposals make paying for charging much easier.” .
“Charging needs to be easy, reliable and seamless to help people who switch to an electric car.”
Many of these public charging points for electric vehicles are managed by municipalities.
David Renard, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 local authorities across England and Wales, said: “The reliability and ease of use of charging infrastructure will be vital in continuing to attract more people to switch to greener transportation. .
“Councils need long-term financial support from government so they can help ensure there are strong and accessible local charging networks to help our communities and businesses adopt cleaner travel and tackle climate change.”
Electric vehicle sales are slow
It comes as figures suggest the rapid rise in sales of new pure electric cars has slowed in recent months.
The number of registrations during the first three months of the year was 102% more than during the same period in 2021.
By the end of August, the year-to-date increase had fallen to 49%.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “We have one of the largest charging networks in Europe and we are working to ensure drivers can access charging points across the country that are reliable, consistent and easy to use.”
“Since 2020, we have committed £1.6bn to improving the charging network and are on track to have 300,000 public charging points by 2030.”