Support for local authority EV charging infrastructure is welcomed but the Government must double its chargepoint target to a minimum of 600,000 for successful fleet transition, says Venson

As the fleet industry digests the government’s published Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, Venson Automotive Solutions is calling upon decision-makers in Parliament to upscale its goal of having a minimum of 300,000 chargepoints in place by 2030 to at least 600,000, if fleets are to successfully and confidently transition to electrification.

Alison Bell, Operations Director for Venson Automotive Solutions said; “Whilst Government’s ambitions offer seeds of hope for companies wishing to accelerate adoption plans for cleaner fleets, there remain concerns of a postcode lottery on charging capabilities and costs. The 300,000 chargepoint target assumes that people will adopt regular home and workplace charging and lower their average mileage.  However, what the Government hasn’t considered is the differing needs of company car and commercial vehicle drivers, compared to private drivers, nor does it consider the relatively inefficient charging behaviours of many drivers, fleet or otherwise.

“Several fleet management factors, including accommodating shift workers, planning the number and length of daily journeys for drivers and ‘on the job’ parking requirements, give us grave concerns that Government’s target is massively underestimated.”

Despite these concerns, Venson applauds assurances of greater cohesion between Government and local authorities, with different funding streams for EV infrastructure to be consolidated as much as possible to ensure clarity, simplicity and efficiency for local authorities. A survey of UK motorists by Venson saw 43% back local authorities being responsible for planning and delivering an EV infrastructure[i].

“The £500m local infrastructure support programme designed to help deploy local chargepoints at scale across the country should go some way to helping meet the diversity of fleet needs,” continues Alison Bell.  “Not only will the funds help unlock financial barriers to deployment experienced by many local authorities, but they will also support a programme which directs much needed expertise to work in partnership with them.  This will be a massive help in ensuring authorities grasp what charging points are needed where and consider not just local residents, but the fleet sector which significantly relies on local authority charging points too.”

“The Government says that getting fleets to adopt EV is vital, yet if it sets out to achieve its minimum target of chargepoints by 2030, it risks decelerating fleet procurement of EVs.”

[i] Venson Automotive Solutions survey of UK motorists November 2021