Councils stall on adding charging points for electric vehicles

(The Guardian, 14 Mar 2019) Exclusive: funding cuts blamed as 107 councils say they have no plans to expand network.

At least a quarter of local authorities in England and Wales have put a brake on the expansion of charging networks for electric vehicles.

More than 100 local councils say they have no plans to increase the number of charging points they offer. Campaigners and politicians fear this could hinder the expansion of the UK’s electric fleet.

Electric vehicles are seen as key to government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also have a role in cutting air pollution. This week Public Health England called for vastly more electric vehicles to replace petrol and diesel types, to tackle the problem of toxic air in cities.

The findings come from freedom of information requests submitted by the Liberal Democrats, and were shared with the Guardian. They follow more than a decade of efforts to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure to encourage drivers to switch to electric.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat former energy and climate change secretary, blamed cuts to council budgets for the lack of investment in charging points.

“Unless there is urgent action to tackle our out-of-control transport emissions, our environment and the health of future generations will suffer,” he said. “People deserve better. There is no doubt these councils are being hamstrung by Conservative government cuts, crippling their ability to tackle climate change. These cuts must be reversed.”

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The Guardian, 14 Mar 2019: Councils stall on adding charging points for electric vehicles