Although Boris Johnson’s announcement banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is seemingly a step in the right direction for a greener future, a closer analysis shows that the UK is a long way off having the adequate infrastructure to support this.
LeaseCar.uk has ranked each UK region’s electric vehicle (EV) readiness based on four key criteria—and the North East finished joint bottom of the pile as the “least EV-ready” region of the UK.
The four criteria analysed were the number of licensed plug-in cars per 100,000 people, the number of public charging devices per 100,000 people, the number of rapid charging devices per 100,000 people and the total CO2e caused by transport.
The research shows that the public’s incentive to make the switch to electric cars is dire overall, with the UK having only 453 licensed plug-in cars per 100,000 population.
However, there is a particularly big discrepancy between North East the rest of the UK. The North East has just 176 licensed plug-in cars per 100,000 people. This is a fraction of the 716 in the West Midlands, the region with the most plug-in cars per people.
There is also a clear indication that there aren’t enough public charging devices for the country to share. The UK currently only has 27.5 charging devices per 100,000 people.
London is leading on this front with 57.8 charging devices per 100,000 people. Ranking last in this category is Yorkshire and the Humber, which has an appalling 17.4 charging devices per 100,000 people.
The UK is severely lacking in rapid chargers too with only 4.83 available per 100,000 people.
A typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point. As a result many EV drivers would favour rapid chargers which can add up to 100 miles of range in fewer than 35 minutes.
Tim Alcock of LeaseCar.uk suggests that the current infrastructure would need to greatly expand for it to cater the disproportionately ambitious plans Boris Johnson has set for the nation.
He said: “One of the main reasons why people haven’t made the switch is the upfront cost of an electric vehicle. In order for the government plans to work, the government should expand on the list of vehicles eligible for plug-in grant and lift the subsidiary 35% of the purchase price for these vehicles (up to £3,000) for those who need more.”
“Second to that is the lack of infrastructure. While there are plans to increase the number of charging points, it would be more realistic for the government to work out exactly how many charging points are needed and set targets for each of the regions in the UK”.