Numerous EV Charging Stations Removed from UK Streets Following Spike in Energy Costs

Free EV Charging Stations in UK Reduced Significantly Due to Escalating Energy Expenses.

In the past year, thousands of complimentary electric vehicle chargers have been removed from British roads as skyrocketing energy prices render them too costly to maintain. The count of chargers providing free electricity has decreased from 5,715 to 3,568, a decline of almost 40 percent.

Currently, less than one out of 10 public chargers on the UK’s roads offer free electricity, as opposed to one in five a year ago. The decline in costless charging spots is a setback for the government’s goal of encouraging drivers to switch to electric cars by offering affordable and accessible charging options away from home.

Electric Vehicle Charging Data Reveals Decrease in Free Stations Amid Concerns Over High Energy Prices.

Data from Zap-Map, a company that tracks UK charging point installations and provides official data to the government, indicates a reduction in free electric vehicle chargers due to rising energy costs, potentially slowing down EV adoption.

As of late April, there were 3,568 free chargers, down from 3,961 four months prior. This is a significant decrease compared to the 5,715 free chargers available a year ago. Supermarkets and car park operators initially installed free charging points to attract EV owners, but wholesale electricity prices surged last year in response to concerns about energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Although prices have somewhat decreased, they remain over twice as high as they were two years ago. Tesco, the UK’s largest provider of free charging points, ceased offering free electric car charging to customers in November. They had been providing free chargers in hundreds of car parks since 2019.

At the end of April, the Irish electricity network ESB began charging for over 300 previously free charging points in Northern Ireland.

Melanie Shufflebotham, Zap Map’s co-founder and COO, explained that free charging was initially more common as an incentive for locations like supermarkets and car parks to attract customers. As electric vehicles become mainstream, a decline in free charging is expected. She noted that rising electricity costs have contributed to the recent decrease but highlighted that there are still over 3,500 free charging points across the country for smart EV drivers.

Shufflebotham predicts that while some destinations may continue to offer free charging to promote eco-friendly travel, the overall percentage will likely remain low. Charging at home or on public networks will, however, continue to be more cost-effective per mile than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Reduced Availability of Free Chargers Coincides with Rising EV Charging Costs, Impacting Switch from Petrol Vehicles.

The decline in free chargers has occurred as electric vehicle owners face higher charging costs, extending the time it takes to offset the expenses of transitioning from petrol-powered vehicles. The RAC reports that the cost of charging an electric car using a rapid charger has risen from £22.81 in May 2022 to £35.43 in April this year.

Official data reveals that there were 40,150 public vehicle chargers in the UK at the beginning of April, an increase of 9,860 from a year ago. The government aims to install 300,000 chargers in the UK by 2030, in line with the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales. However, critics argue that, at the current pace, the target will be missed by two decades.

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