‘Shocking state’: Concerns as some EV chargers don’t work – ‘needs to be improved’

Electric vehicle infrastructure is vital for transition says expert

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More than five percent of electric vehicle chargers in the UK are unusable, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme has found. Working with EV-driver app, Zap-Map, Dispatches sampled one day in September and found that more than 1300 chargers, or 5.2 percent, weren’t usable for drivers to charge their vehicles.

Of this number, 840 were slow chargers, which were out of service.

Almost 10 percent of rapid chargers – those which drivers often need on long journeys to continue their trip – were also found not to be working properly.

Crucially, more than 30 new ultra rapid chargers were faulty, which accounts for more than three percent of the total number in the UK.

The charging network in the UK has been developing over the last 10 years, with the Government and other organisations investing in its continued progress.

There are currently more than 26,000 charging devices in the UK.

Some of these are funded by the Government and local councils, although the majority are provided by more than 60 different private companies.

Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder of ZapMap, said: “I think it’s an issue that needs to be improved.

“When I talk to the network operators, they are very aware of reliability and they know that is the number one thing that electric vehicle drivers want. 

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“They are focused on providing really good units, which are reliable and robust. But it needs to improve.”

In the last year, charging points have increased by approximately 40 percent but Dispatches reveals there was a 66 percent increase in plug-in EVs over the same time. 

To support the uptake of electric vehicles, the Government will provide an additional £620million for public charging in residential areas and targeted plug-in vehicle grants.

This is building on the £1.9billion that was committed with the 2020 Government spending review.

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