EV chargers ‘confusing’ as drivers demand ‘faff-free’ experience

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A poll of 4,000 UK adults found the top issue (57 percent) with electric car public charging was not knowing the number of available charging points at a charging station. A further 56 percent of motorists are unsure about the charging options near them, and half of drivers aren’t aware of the speed of public charging.

While the EV charging network in the UK is growing, there are still issues with the spread of chargers, with some equating it to a “postcode lottery”.

Drivers have also spoken of their frustrations with the lack of standardisation when it comes to paying for services.

Oftentimes, motorists will need multiple apps and payment methods when visiting charging stations around the UK to use the different services.

Almost three-quarters of electric car drivers spend more than two minutes setting up charging apps each time they visit public charging stations. 

At the end of November 2022, there were 36,752 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 21,906 charging locations. 

This represents a 33 percent increase in the number of charging devices since November 2021, according to Zap-Map data.

It does not include the many charge points installed at home or at workplace locations, which are estimated to be more than 400,000.

Between the end of 2016 and 2021 the charge point network grew four-fold from 6,500 to more than 28,000 devices.

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The EV network has grown dramatically between 2020 and the end of 2021 with close to 7,500 charge points added to the UK network, a growth of 36 percent.

Abhishek Sampat, Head of EVs at cinch, commented on the data, saying small changes would help more drivers switch to electric vehicles.

He said: “At cinch, we’re on a mission to make buying and owning a car faff-free. 

“We know how confusing public charging can be if you’re not an EV driver already – different apps to download for access, knowing if a point will be available and compatible, and having to drive to find the appropriate station. 

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“We’ve launched cinchCharge to make it a faff-free experience, taking the stress away and offering thousands of charging points within one app and payment method.”

The company is attempting to remove the hassle of charging on the public network by launching cinchCharge.

This will provide quick and easy access to over 18 charging networks and more than 20,000 public charging points, through one “faff-free” app and with one simple access card.

The service comes with no joining fee or subscription for customers who have previously purchased, or are purchasing an EV from the cinch website.

The research also found that 37 percent of people still have “charging anxiety”, despite the Government’s efforts to increase the number of chargers around the country.

More than 1,000 new electric vehicle charge points are to be installed in a new Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme, as part of a wider £450million project.

These chargers in the pilot scheme will be installed in Durham, Kent, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and a handful of other areas.

Trudy Harrison, Decarbonisation Minister, said she wanted to “expand and grow our world-leading network of EV chargepoints”.

This would make it easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel.

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