"Charging Point Companies are Working to expand their Networks - but too Slowly!" claims Lib Dem Councillor.

July 1, 2020 7:09 AM
Originally published by Nick Hollinghurst - Working for Tring, for Britain and for You!

Cambridge Charge Up Leaf"The expansion of EV motoring is far too slow," claims Hertfordshire County Councillor for Tring, Nick Hollinghurst. "We need to double the number of publicly available fast and rapid chargers and roll out a thousand or more ultra-rapid EV chargers at strategic locations right across the UK network of principal roads and motorways."

Nick, himself the driver of an battery powered electric vehicle (BEV) for 5 years, claims that the rate of expansion of the charging points is far too slow - and this is holding back the uptake of BEV cars in particular as well as the general longer term electrification of transport.

"To head off dangerous levels of global heating we need to do many things together", Nick explains. "Not only must we use active travel such as walking or cycling but we need to use public transport far more - and in many countries people combine these. They walk or cycle to a bus stop, parking their bicycles in secure, sheltered bike racks and then continuing their journey by bus or train."

"We need to do this because we must cut the use of private cars by 20% at least. And the same time, the cars that people continue to own and use, along with light vans and buses, must be 100% battery electric powered."

Although most people with hybrids and BEVs have a charging point in their home, many other people are unable to do that, and for them, publicly accessible charging is essential. Workplace charging facilities are now being installed and this is most helpful, but for people on holiday or who have to roam far from home or workplace, rapid or ultra-rapid charging points are important.

Polar NetworkNick Hollinghurst added, "Early last year, when BP took over Chargemaster, who operate the Polar Network, they made a commitment to supplement Chargemaster's 6,500 charging points with additional chargers located in the 1,200 BP service stations. So far I personally have not seen any yet. BP are ambitiously planning new 150kW chargers able to deliver 100 miles worth of charge in 10 minutes. 400 are to be rolled out by the end of 2021 with 100 in place by the end of 2020.

"Meanwhile, Ionity, a joint-venture comprising Daimler, BMW, Ford and Volkswagen, is planning to install 240 High-Power Chargers operating at an almost unbelievable 350kW at 40 UK sites and 2,400 at 400 sites across Europe."

"On a less technically ambitious level, Volkswagen have announced a rather more conventional mix of 2,400 fast 7kW and rapid 50kW chargers at 600 Tesco stores."

Nick concluded, "There's certainly no shortage of announcements! What is needed, if we are going to make a serious dent in CO2 emissions, are usable charging points right here and now. I hope the slow roll out is not due to the inadequate electricity distribution at the local level of the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), though I fear that this is indeed the case - a consequence of the privatisation of the electricity supply industry by the Tories all those years ago."