A government commitment in the Queen’s speech to ensure charging points are installed at all large petrol retailers and motorway services has been hailed as a “major step forward” for electric vehicle infrastructure by Arval.
David Watts, fleet consultant at the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company, said that the move would do much to increase the overall capacity of the infrastructure while also helping to alleviate concerns over vehicle range.
“Our view is that this is very good news. The current EV charging infrastructure is improving all the time but remains geographically patchy and sometimes unreliable.
“Simply knowing that, if you drive onto the forecourt of a petrol station, there will definitely be charging facilities available is a major step forward. It should massively increase the number of points and, over time, enhance fleet and private motorists’ confidence.”
However, David added that there were further questions to be considered that Arval hoped would be included in any future legislation.
“Firstly, the mandated charging points need to be rapid charge facilities in order to maximise their usefulness. There might be a temptation to fit older, slower charging technology, and this does not really meet the needs of drivers in 2017.
“Secondly, we would like to see some consideration given to the forecourt design, to ensure that the maximum number of cars can be charged concurrently, reducing potential waiting times.
“Again, some service stations might want to just put the charger
somewhere out of the way and that wouldn’t really be in the spirit of this commitment from the Government.”
David said that a further step which could be considered would be to install destination charging points at locations where cars are parked for longer than 30 minutes.
“These could range from supermarkets and out-of-town shopping developments to roadside coffee shops and leisure centres.
“It is all about making the adoption of EVs as simple as possible for potential buyers and promoting them as a viable alternative to petrol and diesel for both fleets and private motorists.”