The UK is currently ahead of the Climate Change Committee’s electric vehicle (EV) adoption curve by more than 100,000 cars.
According to figures by Volkswagen Financial Services UK, there were 833,000 EVs in the UK as of March – up 71 per cent on last year’s levels.
At the same time, registrations of battery-electric vehicles surpassed diesel for the first time ever, while data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that their market share increased to 10.9 per cent in July.
Even though sales continued to surge, potential EV buyers have become increasingly reluctant when making the switch due to a perceived lack of charging infrastructure.
Statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) reported that, between April and July, the number of public EV chargers went up by 6 per cent to 32,011.
This comes on the heels of the UK Government pledging to increase the number of public infrastructure to 300,000 by 2030.
Volkswagen’s researchers pointed out instead that it’s more a problem of levelling up infrastructure accessibility across the country.
“The regional variances in charging infrastructure installation must also be addressed to underpin more equitable nationwide EV adoption,” said Mike Todd, chief executive of Volkswagen’s Financial Services UK.
“The latest Department for Transport charging point figures clearly illustrate that more needs to be done in this critical area.”
London and Scotland have the highest level of EV chargers, with 116 and 55 devices per 100,000 inhabitants respectively – up from the UK’s average of 48.
Todd added that the current cost-of-living crisis could also have a short-term impact.
“As household budgets come under pressure, other priorities may prevail which could potentially affect EV sale impetus and limit the surge in EV adoption witnessed over the past few years,” he said.
A DfT spokesperson said: “We want everyone to have the opportunity to make the switch to electric vehicles and this Government is providing over £1.6bn to support the continued roll-out of chargepoints at homes, businesses and on residential streets across the UK, levelling up our provision while supporting the deployment of rapid chargepoints on motorways and major A roads in England.
“We recently pledged £450m through our Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund for local authorities in England to develop plans for, and install, charging infrastructure. We are also encouraging councils to make use of our £20m On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to support the rollout of public chargepoints in residential areas.”