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On-street Electric Vehicle charging slips off the political agenda for 2 May polls

Voters rate council support for EV owners poorly, but election candidates aren’t addressing the issue

On-street EV charging

With local elections taking place in 107 local authorities and 11 mayoralties on 2 May, research carried out on behalf of Vauxhall suggests that candidates are not focused on the issue of poor on-street charging provision for electric cars.

The firm, which recently slashed thousands of pounds from the cost of finance deals for its range of electric vehicles in order to reach ‘price parity’ with petrol models, says that fewer than one-in 10 drivers think there are enough on-street charging facilities in their areas. 75 per cent expect councils to be the main driving force behind planning new installations, the research suggests, yet only a quarter of drivers are aware of charger provision being part of their local candidates' manifestos or campaigns.

With issues such as potholes, fuel prices and the cost of insurance grabbing headlines, it’s perhaps no surprise that charging infrastructure has dropped off the political agenda as Vauxhall suggests. Yet with a commitment to offer fully-electric versions of all its models by the end of 2024, and sluggish consumer interest across the board for electric cars, Vauxhall unsurprisingly wants to address the major stumbling block of poor on-street charging for the very many potential EV drivers who don’t have a driveway on which to charge at home.

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Last summer it launched its Electric Streets campaign giving drivers a platform to register their own local charging needs, and the car maker reports “high levels of interest for charge point installations logged in cities including Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham – all in localities where a large percentage of drivers said EV owners require further support from their Local Authority”. 

“Our Electric Streets of Britain initiative was launched to support Local Authorities, working with our partners to educate councils on the importance of installing more accessible on-street charging to ensure no driver is left behind on the UK’s journey to electric,” says Vauxhall’s managing director James Taylor. “We hope to see local councils listening to these drivers who are reliant on their support to provide confidence and ensure motorists across the country feel they can join the electric transition efficiently and safely.”  

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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