Rethink of UK’s charging infrastructure essential to drive EV uptake, says Arval
The UK’s charging infrastructure must be overhauled if fleet take-up of EVs and plug-in hybrids is to achieve expectations.
So says Arval, adding that consistent methods of accessing charge points along with a simple and effective payment model are required.
The firm’s fleet consultant David Watts said methods of accessing charging points are inconsistent, potentially creating a barrier for fleet drivers.
He commented: “If you’ll excuse the unintentional pun, it seems to us that there is a disconnect between the charging infrastructure providers, of which there are now many, and the users of the networks themselves. It appears to be creating a real barrier against the take up of pure EVs as well as being a frustrating obstacle in the growth and efficient use of PHEVs.
“Charge point access is currently unnecessarily complicated with multiple memberships being required if you want to ensure nationwide coverage. Then the payment model itself makes little sense, with some charging on a fixed-cost, per-use basis rather than in pence per kWh used. This inadvertently leads to ‘charger hogging’ with drivers taking their complete time allocation rather than simply what they need to get to their home or office.”
Watts said the simplest and most effective solution would be a simple pay-as-you-go model.
“PAYG, where the fleet driver could pull up to the charger, use a contactless debit or credit card, and pay for the electricity they need without a requirement for membership or registration, would solve some of the immediate infrastructure charging issues.
“This may be especially useful for PHEV drivers who want to make the most of any charging opportunity that they have in order to increase the number of electric miles they drive.”
He added that the use and management of the charging infrastructure must be handled as well as possible to encourage more and more fleets to use these vehicles.
“Frustrating experiences will inhibit uptake,” he concluded.