the first three out of four electric vehicle (EV) owners are unhappy with the UK’s public charging system, a study suggests.
The poll among nearly 1,500 members of consumer group Which? operating a purely electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle highlights the difficulties many motorists have in finding a charger that works.
About 74% of the respondents indicate that they are dissatisfied with the charging infrastructure.
Two in five (40%) reported finding a non-working charger, while 61% had problems paying.
Public EV charging infrastructure falls short
The vast majority of EV owners (84%) who use public chargers want the option to pay with a contactless bank card, the survey suggests.
At most charge points, drivers have to pay via an app.
Nearly half (45%) of those surveyed estimate that the nearest public charging point on the street is more than 20 minutes’ walk away.
Sue Davies, head of consumer protection policy at Which?, said: “Our research shows that public charging infrastructure for electric cars falls short as many drivers struggle to find reliable charging stations that work well, navigate confusing payment systems or cannot rely on sufficient charging points near their home or to take them on a long journey.
“The government must act quickly to implement its plans to improve the consumer experience of using public charging networks by extending reliability standards across the entire network and ensuring that billing roaming proposals pay to charge a lot. make it easier.
“Charging needs to be easy, reliable and seamless to support people in the transition to an electric car.”
The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that the rapid increase in sales of new pure electric cars has slowed in recent months.
The number of registrations in the first three months of the year was 102% more than in the same period in 2021.
By the end of August, the year-to-date increase had fallen to 49%.
Many public charging stations for electric cars are operated by municipalities.
David Renard, transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 local authorities in England and Wales, said: “Reliability and ease of use of the charging infrastructure will be vital to attract more people to make the switch to greener transport .
“Councils need long-term financial support from the government so they can provide robust and accessible local charging networks to support our communities and businesses in adopting cleaner travel and tackling climate change.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “We have one of the largest charging networks in Europe and are working to ensure that drivers across the country have access to charging points that are reliable, consistent and seamless to use.
“Since 2020, we have committed £1.6 billion to improve the charging network and are on track to have 300,000 public charging points by 2030.”