Electric vehicle drivers are unhappy with the UK’s charging network, with 70% saying they are dissatisfied with the availability of charging stations.

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  • The Which? also found that 73% had encountered a faulty public charger

The public electric vehicle charging network is “not fit for purpose” due to high costs, low reliability and confusion, a survey has found.

Around 69 percent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations.

The results are based on a survey carried out by experts from Which? who said the issues related to the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which offer greener and cheaper travel costs than petrol and diesel cars.

A third of electric vehicle drivers and 48 percent of hybrid owners said public charging stations were too expensive. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than home charging.

Additionally, around 73 percent of respondents said they had encountered a faulty public charger at least once in the past 12 months. And 37 percent said it was difficult to find a working one.

Around 69 percent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations.  (Stock image)

Around 69 percent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations. (Stock image)

A third of electric vehicle drivers and 48 percent of hybrid owners said public charging stations were too expensive.  They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than home charging.  (Stock image)

A third of electric vehicle drivers and 48 percent of hybrid owners said public charging stations were too expensive. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than home charging. (Stock image)

The study found that 21 percent of electric vehicle drivers and 25 percent of hybrid owners found charging stations confusing and difficult to use.

This is largely because there are many different carriers, each with their own application. Some 85 percent said they would prefer a simple system allowing contactless payment.

Sue Davies, which one? head of consumer policy, said: “People want to make more sustainable choices and switch to an electric vehicle, but many drivers lack confidence in public charging infrastructure.

“The Government and charge point operators must continue to work together to ensure the UK’s charging infrastructure is up to par. Charging must be simple and reliable.

One who? One member said they couldn’t use a charger because it required downloading an app and their phone signal was weak.

Another called public charging infrastructure “dismal,” saying it is “infinitely more complex” to charge an electric vehicle than to buy gasoline.

One who?  One member called public charging infrastructure “dismal,” saying it is “infinitely more complex” to charge an electric vehicle than to buy gas.

One who? One member called public charging infrastructure “dismal,” saying it is “infinitely more complex” to charge an electric vehicle than to buy gas.

The Transport Ministry said the number of charging stations has increased by 45 percent in a year and the government is on track to meet, or exceed, the target of 300,000 by 2030.

Richard Hebditch, of campaign group Transport & Environment UK, highlighted the large regional disparities in public charging points.

He said MPs need to provide infrastructure in areas like Yorkshire and the North West so they can improve their “charging provision”.

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