The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for improved regulations to ‘level up’ the electric car charging network for drivers.
The trade body has formulated a seven-point plan aimed at making sure every driver in Britain is able to benefit from the country’s charging infrastructure.
Proposals include developing a nationally co-ordinated but locally delivered infrastructure scheme, increased investment into public charging, future-proofing the network and embedding “customer centricity”.
The SMMT says the plan has been designed to “drive collaboration between government, industry and all other stakeholders”, and has also called for an independent regulator to be introduced.
A proposed regulatory body named the Office of Charging, or ‘Ofcharge’, would watch over important aspects of the market, such as charging prices, and would enforce minimum standards.
It would also help to address the regional divide in charge point availability. The SMMT says the ratio of electric cars to standard public chargers at the end of 2020 stood at 1:37 in the north of the country, compared with 1:26 in the south. That gap widened in 2021, according to the SMMT, with the car-to-charger ratio at 1:52 in the north and 1:30 in the south.
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said: “The automotive industry is up for the challenge of a zero-emission new car and van market by 2035. Delivering this ambition – an ambition that would put the UK ahead of every major market in the world – needs more than automotive investment.
“It needs the commensurate commitment of all other stakeholders, especially the charging industry as surveys show that range anxiety has been replaced by charging anxiety.”