The REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) has issued a response to the recent BBC Panorama programme on electric vehicles (EVs).
The programme examined the readiness of the UK for the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and raised concerns about the capability of the current public charging infrastructure to meet the expected demand for charging by 2030.
However, the REA has pointed out that several statements and scenarios presented in the programme are already resolved or inaccurate.
Matthew Adams, Transport Policy Manager at the REA, has stressed that claims about the UK lacking sufficient chargers are unfounded.
Adams said: “The UK has over 40,000 public charge points, with 84% of EV owners able to charge at home.
“Therefore, only 16% of the over one million plug-in vehicles on the road will need to use public charging infrastructure regularly and with battery ranges going above 300 miles on many models, it is unlikely with the average journey in the UK being 20 minutes that these 16% of people will regularly use the public charging infrastructure.
“Indeed, there are currently around 8,000 petrol stations across the UK serving 30 million petrol and diesel vehicles, meaning that there are many times more cars per petrol/diesel pump in the UK on average compared to EVs by EV charger.
“The issue of user difficulty of charge point payment systems was also highlighted on the programme, yet it is already being resolved; the government are introducing tough new regulations (The Consumer Experience at Public Chargepoints 2022) which will require all new public charge points above 8kW and new and existing above 50kW will be fitted with contactless payment.”
A BBC spokesperson told ELN: “The aim of the Panorama documentary was to explore the practicality of EVs for everyday use, and it contained a wide range of views on how to use and adapt our roads.
“The documentary concentrated specifically on the charging infrastructure because the public and industry experts have identified “range anxiety” as a particular barrier to the expansion of electric vehicles in the UK. In order to explore the everyday experience, Panorama reporter, Richard Bilton undertook a journey as a first-time user of an EV vehicle.
“He aimed to reflect the experiences not just of the journey itself, but also the views of the public throughout his journey. It is made very clear that there are a wide-range of charging options and we were clear about which charging options we were using.”