Places in UK with no electric charging points revealed for first time

The electric car ‘notspots’ have been revealed for the first time as new Government figures showed places in the UK without any charging points.

Data released by the Department for Transport showed two boroughs, Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and the Isle of Scilly, do not have a single public place for electric or hybrid cars to charge.

Meanwhile, Scotland led the rest of the UK for number of charging points, with Orkney and the Outer Hebrides having some of the highest numbers of chargers per capita. 

Following the release of the figures, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted to end the postcode lottery for electric car owners.

He said: “Your postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers.

“It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing. I urge local councils to take advantage of all the Government support on offer to help ensure drivers in their area don’t miss out.”

According to the figures, Scotland was the Home Nation had the most chargers per capita with 32 per 100,000 people, followed by England on 22, Wales on 17 and Northern Ireland with 16.

On a regional scale, London had the highest number of chargers with 49 per 100,000 people, with the North East having the second highest, 32, and the South East on 28. Yorkshire and Humber was the region with the lowest number of chargers per capita with 12.

The numbers showed Essex was a particularly sparse area for electric drivers running low, with four or its boroughs in the bottom ten for chargers.

Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Harlow have just seven charging points between them.

Alongside Brentwood and Castle Point, Oadby and Wigston (Leicestershire) was the only other borough to have only one charging point.

Seven on the top boroughs for charging points were in London, with the City of London having the most with 414 chargers per 100,000 people, although that number is skewed by the fact the financial district has a residential population of 7,400 according to the last census.

Other top performing boroughs per capita were Westminster on 190 per 100,000, Hammersmith and Fulham on 148 and Richmond upon Thames on 141. The Orkney Islands and Na h-Eileanan Siar in the Outer Hebrides had relatively high rates per capita of 108 per 100,000 and 101 respectively. 

The Government published its league table of the best and worst performing boroughs in a bid to prompt more councils to take up grants to improve charging access.

The Department for Transport currently has a £5 million fund councils can use to install new public points. It also has schemes were private businesses can get up to £10,000 to install charging points and £500 for individuals to have them installed at home.

Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows more than 25,000 pure electric new cars were bought during the first nine months of 2019, more than double the total in the same period last year. These cars now hold a 1.3% share of the new car market.

But industry experts have warned that demand for pure electric cars will be restricted unless there are significant improvements to the charging infrastructure.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “‘We know that demand for electric vehicles is increasing so publishing a league table will provide would-be buyers with vital information. We also know from RAC research that easy access to charging infrastructure remains crucial for drivers deciding to go electric.”

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