UK electric vehicle charging firms unite as infrastructure expands

“We aren’t in the spotlight because nobody is showing up at our sites; we’re under scrutiny because they’re so in demand that people want more of them. 

“If you root the reason for our existence in the climate crisis then that’s a good thing. The industry in the round should get a bit more credit for creating this demand so quickly. Five years ago when ❞ I was talking to investors about building charging hubs, my business case was based on how much coffee I could sell, because they were concerned nobody might buy EVs. Now we’re worrying about having enough chargers…”

James McKenney: “It’s important to remember, too, that the high-speed network is only part of the story. The truth is that the vast majority of charging will be at home or work, or nearby destinations. We are progressing on every level.”

Tanya Sinclair: “That said, we have to acknowledge there’s a huge demographic with no off-street parking, no workplace charging, no driveway. We need to find solutions for them, and we need them to have positive experiences so that they can go out and encourage others to follow. They have to be part of the journey.”

We’ve all read the stories. Are you really saying there are enough chargers?

Ian Johnston: “We want more, but the rate of chargers being deployed is increasing exponentially. Rapid-charger installations are up 180% quarter on quarter, slow chargers 250%. This year, the total number of public chargers in the ground will double. “This is being funded by more than £6 billion of committed capital from all charge-point providers. The numbers tell the story.” 

Why the negative headlines then? 

Toddington Harper: “Almost every issue of speed of implementation is down to the speed of grid connections. I’m not kicking the grid here – it was designed for a completely different purpose and adapting it to what we need, while keeping the lights on, is a huge task. But we can often be delayed by months or more waiting for a connection. The process you have to go through is hard at best and infuriating at worst.”

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