Vehicle charging points on the rise – but 'black hole' feared by 2032

Close up of a electric car charger with female silhouette in the background, entering the home door

A study revealed that 80% of electric vehicle users charged their vehicles at home overnight - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The number of electric vehicle charging points has increased by almost three quarters across Suffolk in the last two years, according to latest figures.

But fears have been raised of a national 'black hole' in availability if demand for electric cars continues to grow at its current rate over the next decade.

The are now 243 publicly available electric vehicle charging devices across the county, compared to 142 in 2019.

However, just 27 rapid charging points – capable of boosting a car's battery to 80% within 40 minutes – are currently shared between the entire motoring population of Suffolk – equating to about one for every 30,000 people.

Four rapid charging points are located in Babergh, Ipswich and Mid Suffolk, with 10 in East Suffolk and 15 in West Suffolk.    

A study found that 133 other areas of the country have five or fewer rapid chargers.

With energy regulator Ofgem expecting one in four consumers to buy an electric car in next five years, fears have been raised that the current growth of charge points will lead to a shortfall of almost 250,000 chargers by 2032.

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Research from the UK100 network of locally elected leaders showed that there were an average of 12 rapid electric vehicle chargers in each local council area.

Analysis showed that, at the current rate of growth, there would be about 76,849 chargers nationwide by 2032 – two years after the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles.

The group has called for local authorities to be given greater funding and powers to force energy companies to install electric vehicle charging points.

Polly Billington, chief executive of UK100, said: “Our research shows that the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure is going to creak under demand with a ‘black hole’ of a quarter-of-a-million chargers.

"We need a coherent plan to massively accelerate our investment in the infrastructure that will enable us to meet net zero. Consumers are willing to do the right thing but only if they have confidence the networks are in place.”

A recent Climate Change Committee study revealed that 80% of electric vehicle users charged their vehicles at home overnight, but that a third of all households had no off-street parking and would need to charge elsewhere.

The Government has promised to publish a local authority toolkit by the end of 2021 as a guide for local councils and regional mayors to deliver on the measures outlined in the transport decarbonisation plan.