UK Electric Car Charging Infrastructure: Why Are We Focusing On Rapid Chargers?

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A new development in the electric car market revealed how Volkswagen is planning to take on EV giant Tesla to become a leader in providing charging infrastructure in the UK.

 

The German automotive giant is expected to put emphasis on generating rapid chargers similar to Tesla’s superchargers. However, is this what people really need who are still lacking the confidence to switch to an electric car? We’re not convinced.

There are a number of reasons why we think efforts should be focused on generating more sustainable means for people to charge their electric cars. Greater access to home, work and supermarket charging, we believe, is one of the key ways those without an EV will be able to drive an electric car.

 

The rapid charging paradox

 
Electric Vehicle is charging in street of Coventry, UK
 

For those of you that haven’t heard of the rapid charging paradox, allow us to explain.

Essentially, the theory is that rapid chargers aren’t as ‘rapid’ as people might think. Yes, the headlines say you can get an ‘80% charge in 30 minutes’, but what happens when all the spaces are being used already? Or worse, someone in a regular ICE (internal combustion engine) car just plonks it there because they couldn’t find a spot?

All of a sudden, you’re having to wait while others top up their batteries before you get to plug in. By the time you’ve managed to do your charge, an hour could have passed by. Compare this to standard ICE models or a hydrogen cell vehicle, which can fuel up in minutes, you can see how this is a problem.

Will a plethora of additional rapid chargers be the answer? Perhaps. But you’ve got to consider that electric cars, while rising in popularity, still only represent 7% of the vehicles on UK roads. Imagine how many more superchargers would be needed to cater for the entire UK population.

 

A greater number of electric car chargers are arguably needed elsewhere

 

Another argument against the action of manufacturers focusing on public rapid chargers is the overwhelming amount of evidence showing that domestic, work and supermarket slow charging is much more effective and efficient.

Studies already show that the majority of EV charging is done overnight at home, when tariffs are cheaper and people can benefit from more affordable charging costs.

In the same breath, many EV owners prefer to charge when they aren’t using their cars, such as when they’re at home, working or shopping. The last two are particularly key here, because a lot of the time work and supermarket charging is free of charge.

 
Businessman charging an electric car
 

There are also numerous benefits to businesses and supermarkets/shops having charging available on their sites. For example, potential new customers or clients driving past that need to charge are more likely to show an interest in their product/service if they let them charge their cars. As such, it represents a good business opportunity.

If the business you work for did want to add chargepoints on their site, they can get a government grant in the form of the Workplace Charge Scheme (WCS). With the scheme you can get £350 per chargepoint socket up to 40 sockets per applicant business.

 

How do I find the best charging solution for my electric car?

 

There are now more online companies that offer digital solutions to finding the right charger for you. Whether you’re a private individual needing a home charger on your drive, or a business customer needing multiple chargers for your employees, the chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for online.

We’ve partnered with specialist electric car charging provider Rightcharge, who let you compare EV energy chargers and tariffs to get the best deal.

 

Find my EV charger

 

Looking for the best deal on a brand-new electric car? Moneyshake shows you the best electric car lease deals, simplifying your search for a new EV.

 

Compare electric car lease deals

 

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