Public charging network falling short of targets as calls made for new ‘charging lead’ to oversee rollout

Ginny Buckley

26 Jan 2023

New Government figures show that the roll-out of public charging continues to lag behind targets. Analysis of the figures suggests that four times as many public charging points will need to be installed every single day if the government is to keep its promise of installing 300,000 on UK roads by 2030. 

Statistics released by the Department for Transport show that between 1 October and 1 January, 26 public charging points were installed on average each day. However, in order for the 300,000 figure to be met, this number needs to quadruple to 100.

But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story and is calling for more context to be given around the 300,000 figure. More consideration should be given to the need to install charging points in the right places and at the right power output for drivers.

This is why calls are being made today for a ‘charging lead’ to be appointed to oversee the rollout of charging infrastructure, which is critical if we are to hit 300,000 by 2030.

The person in this role would work closely with industry to ensure that charge points are installed in places people need them the most, for example on motorways when drivers are making long journeys. The charging lead would also help to overcome barriers to installation; industry is taking a lead here, but they need government support to cut through the red tape by working with local authorities and landowners on issues such as planning permission that is currently holding up the rollout of infrastructure.

Ginny Buckley and Shell Recharge Rapid chargers, with VW Buzz is calling for the creation of a Government 'charging lead' to oversee the roll-out and expansion of the UK's rapid charging network

If people can charge on a public network that’s reliable, safe, and fairly priced, drivers will have more confidence in buying cars with smaller batteries which tend to be more affordable. Consumer demand will then encourage car makers to focus their efforts on this end of the market which is key to unlocking the electric revolution for all drivers, not just the more affluent.

Ginny Buckley said: “While it’s worrying to see that we’re still missing the mark on hitting 300,000 charge points by 2030 if we continue at the current rate of installation, little focus has been given to the context of the 300,000 figure.

“Headline grabbing numbers such as this are irrelevant without more context, and what we actually need to see is charging points located in convenient locations that are fairly priced and at the right speeds.

“As little progress has been made so far, I can’t see how we can achieve this without appointing a charging lead to take control of this issue before it's too late; we need cross-party leadership for this critical piece of infrastructure and someone to join the dots and cut through the red tape to enable the industry to take a lead.

“By doing so, we will give drivers the confidence they need to go electric at a pivotal point in the switch.”

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