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UK EV charger target should be doubled, Venson says

Date: 12 April 2022   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The UK Government should up its target for public EV charger provision to at least 600,000 by 2030, according to Venson Automotive Solutions.

The fleet management company said this increase over the government's recently-announced target of 300,000 chargers by that date was necessary for fleets to successfully and confidently transition to EVs.

Venson operations director Alison Bell said: "Whilst the government's ambitions offer seeds of hope for companies wishing to accelerate adoption plans for cleaner fleets, there remain concerns of a postcode lottery on charging capabilities and costs. 

"The 300,000 charge point target assumes that people will adopt regular home and workplace charging and lower their average mileage. However, what the government hasn't considered is the differing needs of company car and commercial vehicle drivers, compared to private drivers, nor does it consider the relatively inefficient charging behaviours of many drivers, fleet or otherwise. 

"Several fleet management factors, including accommodating shift workers, planning the number and length of daily journeys for drivers and 'on the job' parking requirements, give us grave concerns that the government's target is massively underestimated." 

Despite its concerns, Venson said it applauded assurances of greater cohesion between the government and local authorities, with different funding streams for EV infrastructure to be consolidated as much as possible to ensure clarity, simplicity and efficiency for local authorities. 

A survey of UK motorists by Venson saw 43% backing local authorities being responsible for planning and delivering EV infrastructure.    

Bell said: "The £500m local infrastructure support programme designed to help deploy local charge points at scale across the country should go some way to helping meet the diversity of fleet needs.

"Not only will the funds help unlock financial barriers to deployment experienced by many local authorities, but they will also support a programme which directs much needed expertise to work in partnership with them.  

"This will be a massive help in ensuring authorities grasp what charging points are needed where and consider not just local residents, but the fleet sector which significantly relies on local authority charging points too.

"The government says that getting fleets to adopt EV is vital, yet if it sets out to achieve its minimum target of charge points by 2030, it risks decelerating fleet procurement of EVs."