Report Finds Electric Vehicle Charging Points ‘Inadequate’
Charity Warns Consumers
Electric Safety First, a consumer safety charity, has warned that owners of electric vehicles in Scotland could be forced to charge them dangerously due to the lack of public charging points.
They have said, it has found the growth rate of electric vehicles has considerably outpaced the number of charging points available to EV owners. It is now calling on the Scottish Government to commit to improving the charging infrastructure.
The charity also mentions, EV owners are being forced to conduct unsafe methods to charge their cars. An example of this is using multiple extension leads.
Huge Increase In Demand
Data from the UK Department for Transport and the website, Zap-Map, presented that between 2015 and last year, EVs in Scotland had risen from 2915 to 10,858, which has resulted in a 272% increase.
During this time, charging locations in Scotland had only gone up from 608 to 995, which has resulted in a 64% increase.
1500 EV owners were asked if a lack of charging points around their home has resulted in them to use domestic extension leads, 74% confirmed that they had. However, over 8 out of 10 owners in Scotland said they were aware not to use them outdoors.
Unsafe Charging Practice
The results of the survey also determined that nearly half of Scottish EV users leave their vehicle to charge with an extension lead when it has been raining.
The Deputy Public Affairs Manager for Scotland at Electrical Safety First, Wayne Mackay, has called for action to ensure improved infrastructure is made available.
He said, “Our research shows a direct connection between a lack of EV infrastructure and vehicle owners charging dangerously, and with so few public charging locations in Scotland this is a real concern. Electrical Safety First is urging the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support the rapid increase in numbers of electric vehicles on our roads.”
Wayne also mentions, “We warn EV users to not give in to the temptation to use domestic extension leads to charge their vehicles outside, and never to ‘daisy-chain’ them together.”
Government Grant Scheme
Wayne recommends taking advantage of the Government’s grant scheme which will contribute towards the cost of a specifically designed charging point for your home. Wayne says “This is safer than charging from the mains, using a standard extension lead.”
A spokesman from Transport Scotland said, “There is no need for the unsafe charging of electric vehicles in Scotland as we have one of the most comprehensive charge point networks in Europe through ChargePlace Scotland. We are approaching 1000 publicly available charge points on the network, including over 200 rapid charge points, and the average distance from any given location to the nearest public charge point is just 2.78 miles in Scotland, the lowest across Great Britain where the average is 4.09 miles.
“In the last financial year, we provided almost £10m to local authorities across Scotland to ensure EV chargers are installed across the country. As part of this, we have encouraged local authorities to focus on solutions for remote and rural communities such as considering innovative approaches to on-street charging.”
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