A new government league table has revealed the local authorities around the country with the best and worst public charging networks.
The data, issued by the Department for Transport (DfT), reveals that Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria, is the only authority in the UK not to have a single council-run electric car charging point. However dozens more around the country have fewer than 10.
Westminster, in London, is the best performing council with 485 chargers, and London dominates the table for council-operated charging points, with almost 4,000 public electric vehicle charging devices in the region.
Outside of the capital, Scotland has more than 1,500 charging devices, with England’s north west, south east and south west regions just behind. In these regions Glasgow City, Manchester and Liverpool, and Milton Keynes are amongst the best performing local authorities. Wales has 529 council-run chargers while Northern Ireland has just 295.
According to DfT data there are more than 100 local authorities with fewer than 10 public charging devices per 100,000 people and more than 40 that don’t even have 10 devices in total.
Local councils can claim up to 75 per cent of the cost of the chargers back from the DfT through a £5 million grant scheme but only 33 authorities have taken advantage of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.
The Government is desperate to encourage more drivers into electric cars to cut national CO2 emissions and sees a national public network of charging points as key to this. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new data showed disappointing gaps in provision that councils need to address.
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He said: “Your postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers.
“It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing. I urge local councils to take advantage of all the government support on offer to help ensure drivers in their area don’t miss out.
“To help increase the provision of charging locations, the government is offering grants for the installation of charge points on the street, in work and at home. We are also offering grants to lower the upfront cost of these cars so everyone is able to experience the benefits.”
In 2017 the Government previously announced a £400m investment in charging infrastructure, focused on increasing the number of rapid chargers around the country.
The latest data shows that more than a dozen local authorities have no rapid chargers (43kW and above) while even the majority of the best-performing councils have fewer than 30. Only Milton Keynes (88) the Scottish Highlands (52) and Perth and Kinross (31) have more than 30 public rapid chargers.
In October supermarket chains Morrisons and Lidl announced separate plans to install a total of 400 rapid EV chargers at their stores around the country as the number of electric vehicle registrations soars.