electric charging Prius plug-in hybrid close up

Analysis from Cornwall Insight has backed up concerns raised last month by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that electric vehicle (EV) charging can be a “postcode lottery” and that some areas are at risk of being left behind.

Using regional charge point provision data from the Department for Transport (DfT) it found major geographical disparities in charge point provision.

The DfT’s latest statistical release showed that as of 1 July this year, the UK averaged 36 charging devices per 100,000 people, up from 34 per 100,000 in April. London and Scotland have the highest charging provision per 100,000 people, with 83 and 47 devices respectively.

London’s public charging provision is five times greater than the lowest area, Northern Ireland, which has 17 public chargers per 100,000 people. The DfT also reports on rapid chargers, with the average provision in the UK at 6.8 chargers per 100,000 people.

Scotland has the highest rate of rapid device provision of 12.0 rapid devices per 100,000 people. While London ranks first in terms of total public charge points, it ranks fifth in rapid charge point provision at 6.8 rapid chargers per 100,000 population.

Despite recording quarterly growth of 24%, Wales has the lowest level of rapid device provision in Great Britain, with 4.4 devices per 100,000 population.

Katie Hickford, analyst at Cornwall Insight, said: “Currently, the approach to EV charge point rollout appears to be scattergun, with some local authorities (LAs) securing funding to install charge points, while others have not.

“The CMA recommends that LAs take an active role in planning and managing the rollout to avoid the ‘patchy’ rollout we are currently seeing. The CMA added that the government should properly equip and incentivise LAs while also providing greater support and work with LAs to explore and pilot other ways of deploying on-street charging.

“On top of this, rapid charge points in all regions are low compared to total provision. however, the DfT figures highlight a significant increase of rapid charge points with an average increase of 61% since 2015.

“There is no doubt that these limitations are one of the factors preventing widespread adoption by the public, and the sooner these are solved, the better.”