A SHORTAGE of electric vehicle charging points in the UK is estimated to reach a quarter of a million by 2032, according to new research.

UK100, a network of mayors and local leaders, has estimated there will be 76,849 public electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK by 2032, based on the current rate of growth. 

The group predicts the UK will need around 325,000 EV chargers by 2032 to meet demand. 

According to statistics from the Department for Transport, the UK currently has 25,927 public EV charging points (as of October 2021). 

This equates to 38.7 public charging points per 100,000 people. 

Polly Billington, CEO of UK100, said: "Our research shows that the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure is going to creak under demand with a 'black hole' of a quarter of a million chargers.

"We need a coherent plan to massively accelerate our investment in the infrastructure that will enable us to meet Net Zero.

"Consumers are willing to do the right thing but only if they have confidence the networks are in place."

In Somerset West and Taunton, there are 47 EV charging devices. 

This works out at 30.2 charging points per 100,000 people, putting the district below the UK average. 

Since October 2019 – when figures began at local authority level – the number of devices in Somerset West and Taunton has risen by 20.

Across the UK, an additional 10,800 devices were made available over the same period. 

Somerset County Gazette: PROGRESS: The number of EV charging points in the district has risen by 20 since October 2019 (Image: RADAR)PROGRESS: The number of EV charging points in the district has risen by 20 since October 2019 (Image: RADAR)

A spokesperson for Somerset West and Taunton Council said: "Although the report is based on the assumption that each member of the public will have an electric vehicle by 2032 regardless of driving eligibility or access to an EV, we have made great progress rolling out EV charging infrastructure to significantly reduce carbon emissions across our district. 

"For example, we have leased seven parking bays to electric vehicle charge point (EVCP) supplier, InstaVolt, to install rapid charge points at Blackbrook Sports Centre and Deane House in Taunton; Exmoor House Car Park in Dulverton, and Alexandra Road Car Park in Minehead

"We are also currently working with another EVCP supplier to deliver 36 22kW fast EVCPs throughout our car parks in Minehead, Porlock, Taunton, Watchet, Wellington, Williton and Wiveliscombe

"This has been boosted by a recent successful bid to the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, securing an On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme grant worth £136,000."

The spokesperson added: "In a UK first, we are also on track to host an innovative charging project in Taunton called 'DC Share', whereby Western Power Distribution is trialling new technology to deliver an additional 15 rapid EVCPs in three locations across Taunton.

"To incentivise the installation of further EVCPs, we set up a Community Charge Point Fund available to our Town and Parish Council areas, which has so far delivered charge points at Luxborough, Brushford, Stoke St Gregory and Wiveliscombe.

"In partnership with the four other Somerset Councils and Exmoor National Park, we've also produced a countywide Somerset Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy

"The strategy evidences and assesses different options with regards to delivering EVCPs and growing EV adoption in Somerset, and makes a number of recommendations for the councils to action, which are now being rolled into our Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience Action Plan." 

Somerset County Gazette: DEMAND: The Climate Change Committee estimates there will be 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road in 2030 (Image: Owen Humphreys, PA Wire)DEMAND: The Climate Change Committee estimates there will be 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road in 2030 (Image: Owen Humphreys, PA Wire)

The Climate Change Committee anticipates there will be around 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road when the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles is introduced in 2030. 

An Ofgem report from May 2021 estimated that one in four consumers plan to buy an EV in the next five years. 

To cope with demand, UK100 is calling for local authorities to be given greater funding and powers to get energy companies to install EV charging points.

A recent communique signed by 32 mayors and local leaders urged the Government to reduce "the high costs of connecting EV charging networks to the grid...to enable a seamless vehicle charging network across the UK". 

The Government's net zero strategy, announced on October 19, outlined a range of policies as part of its aim to significantly cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change. 

Somerset County Gazette: CLIMATE SUMMIT: Boris Johnson speaks at Cop26 in Glasgow (Image: Paul Ellis, PA Wire)CLIMATE SUMMIT: Boris Johnson speaks at Cop26 in Glasgow (Image: Paul Ellis, PA Wire)

The strategy was published shortly before the start of the crucial United Nations Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow. 

Among the key policies in the net zero strategy are an expansion of the EV network and new measures to encourage renewable heating in homes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The UK’s path to ending our contribution to climate change will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions in investment and thriving green industries, powering our green industrial revolution across the country."

However, Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said the plans "more like a pick and mix than the substantial meal that we need to reach net zero", and ignore the need to reduce meat and dairy consumption.

Read more: XR out in Taunton talking COP26 - and plan vigils in the coming days​