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Disable drivers still being ignored in roll-out of EV charge points

Data provided by 223 councils across the UK has revealed that only 2.3% on-street EV charge points are adapted to be accessible for disabled motorists.

Vauxhall made a Freedom of Information request to discover how accessible EV charging is to disabled drivers and uncovered a situation which they describe as needing ‘immediate attention’.

Based on information provided by the 223 councils who responded, only 450 out of 19,456 charge points have been adapted for use by disabled drivers. 

Furthermore, only 105 (0.5%) of on-street charge points are situated in disabled parking bays, and only 238 (1.2%) are known to conform to the British Standards Institution’s PAS 1899:2022, guidelines which were introduced in 2022 to provide a minimum standard accessibility of public charge points.

James Taylor, Managing Director, Vauxhall, comments: ‘As this new research very clearly demonstrates, accessibility is an area of electric vehicle charging infrastructure which requires immediate attention. The focus typically falls on charger numbers and charging times, but accessibility is a fundamental factor in ensuring the switch to EVs is both practical and inclusive. Currently, this is a significant barrier for Britain’s disabled motorists wishing to switch to EVs – particularly those who have no home charging capability.’

The FOI request was made as part of the company’s Electric Streets of Britain initiative, in which they have partnered with street charging operators – Connected Kerb, Char.gy and Surecharge, to launch a programme designed to make sure the 40% of UK households without off-street parkin are not left behind in the transition to electric.

There are over 16 million disabled people in the UK, and research by the leading disability support charity, the Motability Foundation, predicts that 1.35 million disabled drivers will, to some extent, be reliant on public charging infrastructure by 2035.

James Taylor again: ‘It is imperative that the switch to electric is made possible for all, and at Vauxhall we want to ensure everybody is brought along on this journey. While there are recent set guidelines in place to support disabled drivers, they are not mandatory. Our research shows that their implementation is very limited and that needs to change if on-street charging provision is to meet the needs of all motorists. We ask drivers to register their personal needs for on-street charging through ElectricStreets.co.uk to ensure all voices are heard on the UK’s journey towards electrification.’

Once of the most surprising findings was that not one of the 11,747 on-street charge points in London has been adapted for use by disabled drivers and only 12 of them are in disabled parking bays

Vauxhall’s Electric Streets database can provide drivers with the option to register whether or not they need on-street charging with particular requirements to suit their disability.

 

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.

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