Skip advert

'Makers need to raise their game on EV charging'

Both the government and car makers need to improve the UK's charging network, says Steve Fowler

Opinion charging

I haven’t had the best experience with the UK’s EV charging network recently. If the government’s goal is to get us into electrified vehicles as soon as possible, it needs to do more than just leave it to the private sector. I’ve written to the transport secretary, Grant Shapps MP, about it, but am still awaiting a response; perhaps he’s trying to find a charger that works on the UK’s motorway network...

Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s not only the government that needs to step up, though. Car makers aren’t exactly jumping through hoops to make sure one of the remaining barriers to the uptake of electric vehicles is removed. The official response from the industry is that it’s not down to it to delivera charging network; car makers don’t have their own network of filling stations, they repeatedly tell us. 

EV charging points to be installed in every new home

This is different, though. Car companies have to sell lots of EVs to help them meet CO2 targets. To do that they need to reassure buyers that the public charging network can be relied upon. And at the moment, it can’t. 

There is good growth in the number of new chargers being installed around the country, but it could be better. Ionity, a joint venture between BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Audi and Porsche is working away, but compared with other charging companies, it’s in its infancy.

While tearing my hair out trying to get a charger working with my Jaguar I-Pace at a service station on the M4, I looked across at the myriad Tesla Superchargers, with owners happily, easily and cheaply charging their cars. 

Here’s a company taking responsibility for every part of electric-car ownership, including charging. It means Tesla drivers have more chance of worry-free journeys than owners of other electric cars from different brands.

That’s a great shame. We love electric cars and they’re getting more appealing all the time. But the government and industry need to get the charging network sorted if they want to hit their goals on electric-car take-up.

Do you think the UK's EV charging network should be invested in? Let us know in the comments below...

Find out more on electric car charging on DrivingElectric

Skip advert

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

Skip advert

Most Popular

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April
Facelifted Volkswagen Golf - front static

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April

The eighth-generation Golf has been given a mid-life refresh - just in time for the model’s 50th birthday
9 Apr 2024
New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV
Skoda Kodiaq 2024
In-depth reviews

New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV

The Kodiaq aims to be the do-it-all SUV for families and it largely succeeds. The driving experience isn’t the most exciting, but for a big, practical…
12 Apr 2024
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio E-Tech - front tracking
Car group tests

Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle

With more and more electrified rivals arriving, Toyota has given its hybrid-only Yaris a facelift. We put it up against Renault’s class-leading Clio.
13 Apr 2024