UK experts say greater investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure by the government is needed if net zero targets are to be met, the Express newspaper reported. 

According to Zuto director of lenders Joanne Robinson, the availability of EV charge points was crucial for the transition to EVs. 

Robinson warned that if the government does not invest in EV infrastructure and workforce soon it could lead to serious consequences. 

“Charging an EV needs to be quick, easy, and convenient so that it can fit around the consumer’s lifestyle. For some people, an EV may not tie in with their lifestyle due to obstacles with charger availability and range,” she said. 

Robinson added that the government’s efforts to improve the charging infrastructure and make it more accessible will support EV uptake by reducing “hesitancy”.

Furthermore, she said automotive industry players should start preparing now or risk missing out on the “soon to be lucrative” used EV market.

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As of 1 October 2022, the UK had 34,637 public electric vehicle charging devices, of which 6,395 are “rapid” chargers and 19,746 “fast” chargers.

This is an 8% increase in the total number of installed devices in comparison with 1 July 2022. 

Experts have also urged the authorities to take steps to make EVs more accessible for entry-level drivers. 

Specialist Motor Finance managing director Simon Bayley said: “There needs to be more flexibility within the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) finance agreements to facilitate customers’ needs today.

“They [customers] would be more willing to try an EV out if they knew it was simple and cost-effective to switch back if needed.”

Quentin Wilson, Motoring Journalist & Transport Campaigner said: “The modal shift that we’ve been talking about for years from private cars, passenger cars, into public transport, hasn’t really happened because we don’t really think it’s reliable. Across Europe, it’s only 8% of people who use public transport and the rest of us drive and that is just the brutal truth of it all. So, what do we do if you haven’t got a viable public transport system or buses that run on time and stop in all the right places, what are we supposed to do?  

“The big problem is the current situation is untenable and fuel prices are going to rise and rise and rise, so this is why sales of passenger cars this month went down 20% (combustion cars), and electric cars have gone up 17%. It’s the only ray of light in the SMMTs registration figures. And lots and lots of people are making that switch.

Quentin Wilson is a former Top Gear presenter, as well as the presenter of Fifth Gear and Britain’s Worst Driver. According to his website, he has been driving and campaigning for EVs for over a decade.

Last month, Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer research showed that over four in ten UK fleets have not started preparing for the government’s deadline to stop sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. 

Car manufacturing in UK falls 6% in September 2022