UK electric car charging infrastructure set for a shake-up

Owning and running an electric car, gliding along in a computer on wheels, that costs pennies to fuel and maintain is on whole a joyous experience.

Where the EV driver is somewhat let down is with the inconsistent public charging infrastructure.  Currently this requires drivers to sign up to multiple providers, each with it own smartphone app or membership card used to start the charge.

UK public Rapid Charge Point at Birmingham Airport provided by Ecotricity
UK public Rapid Charge Point at Birmingham Airport provided by Ecotricity

Drivers of regular fuelled cars don’t need a special card or an app to fill up at their local petrol station or it’s competitor.

To tackle this growing problem and encourage others to make the switch, UK Government is soon to propose a series of measures to instigate the sharing of information between charge providers.

In a recent survey to electric car drivers, the knowledge that your next re-charge was achievable was essential, with one respondent commenting:

“knowing the location of charge points is critical in increasing confidence and reducing the range anxiety of EV drivers”, dynamic data can give complete confidence to EV drivers, ensuring they are aware of the operational status and availability of a charging point as well as its location, connectivity and charging capability”

This sentiment was echoed by many of the respondents to the consultation.

As ever, luxury car maker Tesla is leading the way by adding live Supercharger availability information directly to a car’s  navigation system – which is displayed on the on-board 17inch touch screen.

Tesla navigation screen now highlights available Supercharger stalls
Tesla navigation screen now highlights available Supercharger stalls

Proposed charging network improvements include the sharing of data in an open source format on the geographical location and live availability of a charge point.  Along with the requirement for that charge point to used without the need for multiple memberships, apps or cards. This would be similar to the European roaming agreement which was recently announced.

One other proposal is to require the operators of motorway service areas to provision a minimum number of electric charge car points enabling more confident long distance joyous electric motoring.

Read more about proposed measures for inclusion in the Modern Transport Bill here.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.

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