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Electric car charging provision at motorway service areas, on local roads and in rural areas is inadequate and needs to be accelerated as a matter of urgency, the competition regulator has warned on Friday

Electric car charging provision at motorway service areas, on local roads and in rural areas is inadequate and needs to be accelerated as a matter of urgency, the competition regulator has warned on Friday.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the public charging infrastructure must be improved ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, saying battery vehicle charging ‘should be as simple as filling up with petrol or diesel’ to encourage drivers to make the switch. 

It expressed concern about the choice and availability of places to plug in an electric car at motorway service stations and said the rollout of on-street charging by local authorities – which many drivers without off-street parking rely on – is ‘too slow’, while rural areas at risk of ‘being left behind’ due to a lack of investment.

Competition and Markets Authority wants EV charging infrastructure improved to a level that it is ‘as simple as filling up with petrol or diesel’

According to the latest figures published by Zap-Map, there are 15,805 public charging locations across the UK with 24,949 devices in total.

Some 661 new chargers have been added to the network in the last month. 

However, the CMA says these figures need to grow at up to ten times the current installation pace to match the demand for EVs between now and the end of the decade.

RELATED ARTICLES Share this article Share HOW THIS IS MONEY CAN HELP It cited research indicating that difficulties with charging could stop motorists switching to electric cars.

Anxiety over the reliability of chargepoints, comparing prices and paying for charging ‘risk reducing people’s confidence and trust’, the CMA said.

It comes after a new index launched by insurer LV= this week claimed that a , meaning the premium price paid for an expensive EV will be recovered within a seven-year ownership period.

Andrea Coscelli, the organisation’s chief executive, stated that electric vehicles ‘play a critical role’ in reducing carbon emissions, but the challenges of ‘creating an entirely n  

What could potentially alleviate some of the CMA’s concerns regarding the motorway charging infrastructure is Gridserve’s recent acquisition of the network across service stations up and down the country.

CMA warned of there being a postcode lottery for EV charging infrastructure.

Latest figures show that availability of public devices in London dwarfs more rural areas. Source: Electric vehicle charging device statistics: April 2021 – GOV.UK

The British firm behind the in June purchased the rights to manage all devices located at motorway services from Ecotricity, which has for years been heavily criticised by early EV adopters for providing a network of outdated and unreliable chargers.

Gridserve has announced plans to revolutionise the availability of devices on the UK’s busiest routes, as part of its new Electric Highway scheme.

It will see every electric vehicle charger at motorway services replaced with more dependable and faster-charging technology by September.

The company has also confirmed that it will add 50 high power ‘Electric Hubs’ – each offering between six and twelve ultra-rapid 350kW chargers – at the majority of service stations up and down the country.

The hubs, which are part of a new £100million investment, will spark a significant improvement to charging on motorways after years of complaints about Dale Vince’s Ecotricity firm that has monopolised 90 per cent of service stations between Land’s End and John o’ Groats.  

Gridserve has promised to make a huge improvement to the Electric Highway network of EV chargers at motorway services, replacing all devices by September and adding 300 rapid chargers on our busiest roads

Gridserve has promised to add some 300 rapid chargers in total to 85 per cent of the UK’s motorway service stations, which will allow drivers of the latest EVs to add 100 miles of range in charges taking just five minutes.

The CMA made a series of recommendations, including that the Government sets out an ‘ambitious national strategy’ for expanding charging infrastructure up to the end of the decade.

Whitehall should define a clear role for local authorities to manage charging in their area, bathmatetestimonials and establish a pubic body to monitor the sector.

The regulator has also launched a competition law investigation into long-term exclusive arrangements for charging at motorway service areas.

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