Despite the continued boom in electric car sales and ban on diesel cars until 2030, more than half the local councils admitted that they had not contributed funds to bolstering public charging infrastructure during the last year.

52% of the 216 authorities that responded to the request stated they had not spent any money on chargers over the past 12 months, despite the fact that the Government provided funds through the on-street residential charging point scheme. 

This comes after an industry report last month stated that only 27 devices were being added to the network each day. If the infrastructure is to keep pace with the demand for new models, it must double to at least 50. 

Incredibly, this lack of investment by councils comes in the face increasing complaints from local residents about the poor EV charging facilities within their areas. 

Councils scrimping on chargers: Half of local authorities who have responded to an FOI request admitted they have spent nothing on the installation of new EV charge points in their areas in the last year

Chargers in short supply in councils: Half the local authorities who responded to an FOI Request admitted that they have not spent any money on the installation of EV chargers in their areas over the last year.

DevicePilot, a service management and monitoring platform for EV charging point operators, contacted 374 local governments to ask about their infrastructure spending over the past year. 75% of authorities provided information.

Three in five of the 216 who responded said they had received complaints about the inadequacies of their chargers or the insufficient devices in their areas.

This saw councils spend a combined estimate of £5.6million on device maintenance over the year period.

London councils appear to be the most active when it comes to installing new charge points, with authorities in the capital each spending £204,000 on devices in the last year – more than double the national average.  

Some blamed the difficulty in accessing the Government’s dedicated fund. UK councils claimed that they received 15% less central funding over the past 12 months than the year before. 

A charger added to the network by a council – on average – costs £6,000, the report found. However, figures quoted for new device installations ranged from between £350 and £100,000, according to the feedback from authorities. 

Surprisingly, almost half (48%) of local councils said that they did not know how many charge points would be installed in 2022 or that they did not intend to install any.  

London councils appear to be the most active when it comes to installing new charge points, with authorities in the capital each spending £204,000 on devices in the last year - more than double the national average

London councils appear to be the most active when it comes to installing new charge points, with authorities in the capital each spending £204,000 on devices in the last year – more than double the national average

Battery Electric Vehicle sales were up almost 50% in September. In contrast, diesel and petrol registrations slid by a massive 77.3% and 46.6% respectively during the month. More than 125,000 pure-electric cars have entered the road in 2021 so far

September saw a nearly 50% increase in sales of battery electric cars. However, registrations for petrol and diesel fell by a huge 77.3% each and 46.6% respectively in September. In 2021, more than 125,000 pure-electric vehicles have been registered.

Tesla's Model 3, which starts from £41,990 and is not eligible for any government grants, was Britain's best-selling new model in September

Tesla’s Model 3, which starts from £41,990 and is not eligible for any government grants, was Britain’s best-selling new model in September 

The report was published as electric vehicle sales continue their boom in the UK. 

According to industry statistics, September was the lowest month for car registrations in 23 years. However, it was also the best month ever for new battery electric vehicles. 

With a market share 15.2 percent, 32 721 electric cars joined traffic in the month. This is a testament to the wide range and growing consumer demand for these models.

Although EV sales rose by 49% in September, registrations for petrol and diesel fell by 77.3 percent and 46.6 percent, respectively. 

This shows how fast consumers are clamouring for zero-emission vehicles. September registrations were only 5,000 units short of the total number pure electric cars purchased in 2019. 

This was evident by the Tesla Model 3 being the best-selling model in September. It is the fifth time the Model 3 has topped the UK sales charts, but only the second time that Covid lockdowns aren’t forcing traditional motor dealers to lock their doors. 

DevicePilot found that the average number of chargers installed by councils is 52 per year. This works out to around nine per 100,000 people depending on where they live. 

London councils announced that they will add an average of 39 new chargers for every 100,000 residents in 2022. 

DevicePilot stated that while some areas of the country have made substantial investments in EV infrastructures, others have spent very little and/or received no government funding. 

“The report argues the UK is not ready for universal EV ownership. However, 2022 promises to be a record year for EV investments.  

Pilgrim Beart (CEO of DevicePilot) stated that “in the next ten years more than half of the cars on the roads will be electric.” The UK must have tens of thousands charging points in every corner of the country to facilitate this transformation.

EVs are crucial to the UK’s targets for carbon emissions. However, some parts of the UK are currently on schedule to meet higher EV demands. Other areas lack the funds to do so.

“I have a lot to sympathize for councils whose finances have been stretched to breaking points by the pandemic or budget cuts. But we cannot allow the gap between the EV has and haves to grow further. 

“It should be the UK’s goal in the short-term to ensure that everyone can reap the benefits from EVs and not just the few.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, responded by saying that the council is not responsible for providing charging points for electric vehicles. 

They will, however, invest in a variety of measures to help reduce carbon emissions and other harmful pollutants from transport such as investment in cycling and walking infrastructures, clean air zones and investing in electric vehicles.

“Each place is unique and each council will make spending choices based on their local priorities. 

“The EV charging market is still in its infancy and councils must weigh up many competing demands on their resources as well as road space, as well as consider any potential risks associated with commercial investments into EV charger points.

Incredibly, almost half (48 per cent) of the local councils said they either didn't know how many charge points they were going to install in 2022 or had no intention to install any at all

Amazingly, 48% of local councils stated that they didn’t know how much charge points they would install in 2022 or that they had no plans to install any.

This study comes just days following MPs’ admission that only a fraction the electric car charging points required to reach a 2030 deadline have been installed. 

Each day, only 27 points are publicly available. The Government admits that this number must double before the ban on the sale new petrol or diesel cars will take effect at the close of the decade.

According to the car industry, around 1,500 charging points on street need to be installed each month.

According to the Government: “With more than 24,000 chargers available, approximately 700 chargers are being added every month to the public internet network. 

“But, we agree… the pace of deployment must accelerate to reach our ambitions.

The Department for Transport said ministers had ‘committed an additional £620million to support the transition to electric vehicles, which will include accelerating the rollout of local charging infrastructure’.


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