The automotive industry calls for “binding targets” for the deployment of charging stations

A leading UK car industry body has called for ‘binding targets’ for the rollout of electric car charging infrastructure. the Society of Engine Builders and Traders (SMMT) said the targets should be part of a seven-point plan to ensure electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is good enough to encourage drivers to go electric.

Under the plan, the SMMT said there should be “mandated targets” for infrastructure rollout, backed by an independent regulator “to keep consumers at the heart of planning”. The organisation, which represents car manufacturers and dealers, said public chargers are “essential to consumer confidence” and vital for the third of UK households that do not have designated off-street parking.

While the SMMT recognizes the growth of the network, which has increased by 3,000% since 2011, the SMMT states loading infrastructure has “struggled to keep pace” with the rise in demand for electric cars. The organization says there has been a 586% increase in the number of battery electric cars on UK roads between 2019 and 2021, but the number of super and fast chargers available has only increased by 82.3% during the same period.

Now, the SMMT is offering a “nationally coordinated, locally delivered” infrastructure plan designed to help EV drivers. And the organization says the system will also provide charging station operators and local authorities with “certainty” and targets to install the right number of the right type of chargers in the right areas of the UK.

At the same time, the SMMT calls for the creation of a new regulator, which it proposes to call “Ofcharge”, or Office of Charging, to monitor the market and enforce minimum standards. He says this would ensure that every part of the UK is ready for a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

Mike Hawes, Managing Director, SMMT, said: “The automotive industry is ready to meet the challenge of a zero-emission new car and van market by 2035,” said Mike Hawes, Managing Director, SMMT. . “Achieving this ambition – an ambition that would put the UK ahead of all major markets around the world – requires more than automotive investment. It needs the commensurate commitment of all other stakeholders, in particular of the charging industry, as surveys show that range anxiety has been replaced by charging anxiety.

“Our plan puts the consumer at the heart of this transition, ensuring the best possible experience supported by an independent regulator. With clear and equivalent targets and support for operators and local authorities that match consumer needs, the government can ensure the UK has a network of charging stations that makes electric mobility a reality for all. , reducing emissions, driving growth and supporting consumers across the UK.

2021 MG ZS EV parked with charging cable