If you’re planning on visiting somewhere in your EV, it looks like Sunderland is the place to go. Research from renewable energy company Tonik Energy has put the town top of the table with one publicly available charging point for every 1,460 licenced drivers. Sunderland is of course home to Nissan, who manufacture the Leaf, the world’s best-selling electric car.
Milton Keynes comes second, perhaps not surprising given the town was created from the outset for the car. In Scotland, Dundee is the place to take a drive in your EV, having one charging point for every 1,635 drivers. Again, this might not be a surprise as the University has a strong relationship with the renewables sector.
At the other end of the spectrum, Portsmouth’s half-a-million drivers have to share just 16 public charging points. Shrewsbury and Derby also scored badly.
A lack of public charging isn’t just about catering for tourists and city centre shoppers. Terraces, apartment blocks and other forms of housing without dedicated parking spaces force residents to leave their cars on the street. Not being able to charge a vehicle at night ready for the morning’s commute can break the decision to buy an EV.
Local councils have a role to play in removing barriers to EV adoption. As Chris Tucker, Managing Director at Tonik Energy notes, “One of the main barriers to purchasing one of these vehicles is the fear of running out of charge on a long journey so it’s crucial that all councils, particularly those towards the bottom of these rankings, recognise the need to invest in publicly available charging points.”
Some are taking the matter seriously. Brighton is installing 200 charging points and Wandsworth in London has another 250 planned. Edinburgh is proposing a £3 million investment to put over 200 points across the city.
The rankings from Tonik Energy could help galvanise action behind communities and ensure there’s a sensible distribution of publicly available charging points.
The full rankings for 20 towns and cities can be found on Tonik Energy’s blog.