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London leading the EV revolution as local authorities urged to take advantage of grants

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

The Department for Transport has revealed new statistics showing the local authorities that are the slowest adopters of electric vehicle charging.

The figures are sourced from Zap-Map and represent chargers live as of 1 October 2019. Across the UK, there are 15,116 chargers installed, 2,495 of which are rapid chargers. This breaks down to an average of 23 chargers per 100,000 people.

London came out on top with 4,360 chargers installed across inner and outer London. However, of these only 323 are rapid chargers. The boroughs with the highest concentration of chargers are City of Westminster (485), Wandsworth (414) and Hammersmith and Fullham (274).

Outside of London, the South East has the largest volume of chargers at 1,996. Some of the local authorities with the highest number of chargers across the country include Leeds, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Glasgow City.

However, two local authorities – Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and the Isles of Scilly - have no EV chargers installed according to the data.

Ann Thomson, spokesperson for the environment at Barrow Borough Council, said the authority recognises the importance of EV charging and is being “proactive” in supporting the delivery of charging points.

The council is seeking European Regional Development Fund support to bring EV charging to Barrow and hopes that private providers will consider the borough as public charging networks expand, Thomson said.

A spokesperson from Cumbria Country Council, the transport authority for the area, said the council is “committed to sustainable transport” and acknowledges there is a lack of chargers in Barrow.

"The council is aware of the growing demand for electric vehicles charging infrastructure and is currently reviewing the provision of charging facilities across the county.”

Alongside the release of the figures, Transport secretary Grant Shapps has written a letter to the UK’s local authorities calling on them to take better advantage of government grants. He has pointed to funding that remains available in 2019/2020 through government schemes, such as the workplace charging scheme under which £500 for each chargepoint socket and £10,000 per business is available.

“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,” Shapps said.

The government has made several other financial commitments to EVs, including the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund and the electric vehicle homecharge scheme, offering £500 per chargepoint socket.

The DfT placed emphasis on the £5 million on-street residential chargepoint scheme, which saw its funding doubled in August.

Last year, it was revealed that only five local authorities took part in the scheme, prompting ministers to write to councils urging them to take advantage of the fund.

However, the Local Government Association (LGA) responded by claiming cash strapped councils should not be responsible for “replacing petrol stations”.


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