Electric car 'range anxiety' major concern in the UK

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
The UK currently has almost 20,000 chargepoints, up from around 1,500 in 2011. Photo: Getty Images
The UK currently has almost 20,000 chargepoints, up from around 1,500 in 2011. Photo: Getty Images

The UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study into electric vehicle charging, noting that “range anxiety” or not being able to recharge while out and about is a key concern for many.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Being able to easily stop off at a petrol station is a standard part of a journey and consumers must trust that electric chargepoints will provide a similarly straight-forward service.”

The regulator said the electric vehicle charging sector is crucial to the roll-out of electric vehicles, as part of the government’s commitment on climate change.

The government has brought forward the ban of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, making the switch to electric vehicles “more imminent for UK drivers.”

It noted that the UK currently has almost 20,000 chargepoints, up from around 1,500 in 2011, but more will be needed in the future.

“If people can see that the service will work for them, they are more likely to make the switch to electric vehicles, which is crucial to achieving the government’s long-term ambition for a net zero economy by 2050,” the regulator said in a statement.

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The CMA said it will focus on developing a competitive sector while attracting private investment to help the sector grow. It also wants to ensure people using electric vehicle chargepoints have confidence that they can get the best out of the service.

The CMA intends to conclude its study within the next year and is accepting comments until 5 January 2021.

Transport is the largest emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 28% of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, with road traffic accounting for around 20%, the CMA noted.

Last week, a report said two-in-five (37%) UK drivers do not think they will ever be able to afford an electric car.

Some 43% of motorists who currently own a petrol or diesel vehicle that was bought used said they will never afford an electric car, where as only 28% of Brits who bought a new car think that they won’t be able to stretch to an electric vehicle, according to a study of over 2,000 drivers.

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