The number of electric vehicles in Coventry is set to rocket by more than 3,000 per cent by the end of the decade.
The city is set for a huge surge in electric vehicle (EV) ownership but a number of obstacles remain – most notably a shortage of public charging points.
The prediction has been made by Midlands Connect, which says its analysis suggests that EV use in Coventry will increase by 3,000 per cent by 2030.
However a Midlands Connect poll has revealed a lack of public EV chargers is a concern for more than half of Coventry’s motorists.
Coventry continues to be ahead of the curve in the region when it comes to providing the infrastructure required for an EV future with the city council recently having installed hundreds of public chargers in inner-city areas.
Coventry currently has the highest number of EV chargers per head of any town or city in the Midlands.
But more than a third of Coventry households do not have access to off-road parking so would rely on public chargers to power their EV.
Coventry City Council has installed 373 public charging points across the city in areas with a high proportion of terraced housing to encourage residents to make the switch.
The installation followed the award of a £300,000 grant from the Department for Transport in 2019 to accelerate the installation of public charging points in residential areas, with further funding also being made available subsequently.
The public charging points installed in Coventry are a mix of standard and rapid charging facilities, aimed at residents, commuters and visitors to the city.
A Midlands Connect poll of more than 250 Coventry people revealed that a lack of public charging points is a concern for more than half of motorists and is a factor that puts them off switching to an EV.
Concerns about battery range
Anxiety about battery range was also an issue for 48% of respondents.
Despite these concerns, 75% of those questioned (with access to a petrol/diesel vehicle) would consider buying an EV next.
Midlands Connect estimates that by 2030 the Midlands could be home to over 1.7 million EVs, with over a quarter of vehicles being electric.
At the moment less than one in every hundred vehicles is an EV.
Midlands Connect says to support this growing number of EVs, 39,410 new public EV charging points must be installed across the Midlands by the end of the decade.
This means installing 11 new charging points every day, 76 per week, and 3,491 per year until the end of 2030.
The speed of installations needed to meet these targets is over six times the current rate.
Transport bosses are concerned that a failure to increase public charger installations could slow down the take up of EVs and have negative environmental consequences.
While carbon emissions in the energy industry have fallen by 63% between 1990 and 2019, the transport sector has seen a fall in emissions of just 5% in the same period.
The UK’s carbon emissions must fall by 100% (based on 1990 levels) by 2050 to meet climate targets.
Maria Machancoses, chief executive of Midlands Connect, said: “We’re in the grip of a climate emergency, and when it comes to installing EV charging points, Coventry cannot fall behind.
“We know that being worried about not being able to charge when needed is a major factor that puts many off making their next car electric; this needs to change.
“By working together to create a region-wide EV strategy and overcome the challenges of installing the infrastructure we need, we can move one step closer to decarbonising our transport network.
“Local authorities across the Midlands are doing a great job to roll out charging points, but they cannot do this alone.
“Government, the automotive industry and private suppliers must all play a part in speeding up the roll out and ensuring councils have the support they need.”
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