Electric car charger installations may end up in ‘disaster’ without important changes

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In a survey of 500 UK electricians, 99 percent of respondents understood there to be major risks associated with electrical vehicle charging work. It is estimated that only 28 percent have received specific training on how to install an electric car charging station.

With 73 percent of electricians likely to seek work in installing or repairing EV chargers in the next 12 months, industry experts are calling on more support.

City & Guilds, a skills development organisation, is warning that a lack of appropriate training and skills could lead to safe installations of EV chargers.

With these chargers in homes, on streets and in commercial locations, they are warning the skills shortage could have potentially “disastrous consequences”.

They are calling on industry to ensure all those working on EV charging point installations are equipped with the skills they need to install chargers in a way that’s safe for both themselves and consumers. 

David Phillips, Managing Director at City & Guilds, commented: “The transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to EV ownership is a critical part of reducing global carbon emissions. 

“But the speed of this transition is going to place huge pressure on those tasked with developing the new infrastructure of charging points required, particularly with just 28 percent of the UK’s current electricians trained to deliver it.

“Electricians will need to rapidly upskill to safely manage the workload – but currently the training just isn’t available nationally and there isn’t an impetus to undertake it. 

“We need industry to recognise this safety issue and ensure these EV charging points are installed in a way that is standardised and safe, to avoid a potential disaster in the near future.”

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The lack of suitable training demonstrates a clear risk unless companies ensure their workforce has the necessary training, skills, knowledge and experience to undertake this work safely.

The new research is supported by findings from CENEX and OZEV which were compiled for the Department of Transport.

It found that nearly a fifth of new at home charge point installations installed as part of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) had dangerous or potentially dangerous issues.

The same research found that only 32 percent of chargers were labelled as satisfactory.

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The Government has set targets to increase the number of electric car chargers ten-fold to 300,000 by 2030.

The Government’s electric vehicle strategy includes the acceleration of high powered chargers on the strategic road network through the £950million Rapid Charging Fund.

It is also hoped that every motorway service area would have at least six rapid chargers by the end of 2023.

A £500million local infrastructure support programme is also being offered to help boost the number of EV chargers in local and more residential areas.

According to Zap-Map, there are currently 32,663 devices with 54,158 connectors.

In June 2022, more than 829 devices were installed, representing a 34 percent increase since June 2021.

These figures do not include the charge points installed at home or at workplace locations.

There are estimated to be more than 400,000 chargers around the UK.

It is estimated that one third of charge points in the UK were in Greater London.

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