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Electric vehicle owners warned of 'charge rage' in London

‘Charge rage’ could soon be replacing road rage on London’s streets if the predicted demand for electric car charging points is not met, according to a new report.

Drivers in the United States have already been involved in heated disputes as they compete over a shortage of electrical points – dubbed ‘charge rage’ by US media.

Clearing the Air, by London Assembly member Shaun Bailey, found the installation of charging points in the UK is occurring at an unsatisfactorily slow rate compared with the uptake of electric vehicles.

Latest Department for Transport figures show electric car sales are increasing by 172% every five years. Current installation rates of charging points however means there will be just one available for every 15 electric cars on the road by 2031.

Many of the sockets currently being installed are either  ‘standard’ or ‘slow’ chargers, taking between six and eight hours to fully charge a vehicle.

Bailey’s report recommends the Mayor spends £30million installing 1,579 rapid charging points – which can provide a vehicle with an 80% charge in 30 minutes - and support an industry that could single-handedly clean up London’s dirty air.

Bailey said: “If London is going to fully support the adoption of electric vehicles we need adequate charging infrastructure on our roads.

“This report found London is not preparing to provide the right number and quality of charging points to meet predicted demand and on current levels drivers could be left squabbling over sockets.

“The adoption of electric vehicles would go a long way to improving London’s air quality. In contrast, the Mayor’s plans to expand the ULEZ will have a negligible impact on emissions.

“That is why I’m urging the Mayor to abandon those plans and instead invest some of the money in improved electric charging infrastructure.”

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  • IanM - 04/09/2017 12:02

    I suspect that Charge Rage in the UK will be caused more by people driving IC vehicles parking in charge bays. We see this a lot in Milton Keynes where we have many charge points but also many members of public who think it's fine to park in these bays.

  • Bryn - 04/09/2017 15:20

    Milton Keynes is the best served city for electric points anywhere in the UK. The threat of charge rage is nothing to the jubilation of completing journeys knowing that there were zero tailpipe emmissions. Not to mention range jubilation, which is unique to electric only cars and occurs when motorways are restricted to 50 or 60 mph

  • The Engineer - 04/09/2017 17:21

    And yet the already existing biggest, fastest and best placed network of chargers lies largely dormant in the hands of a private company that is not really interested.

  • John 4870 - 05/09/2017 11:39

    Anybody ever seen a charge-point actually in use on a Motorway service area? I wouldn't use one at their prices, aside from having to wait around for 30 mins or more.

  • MattH - 07/09/2017 09:37

    I think this misses the point somewhat. Surely we will have greater range of EV, wireless charging / charging lanes, and autonomous vehicles that can drive off and charge themselves in a smart way long before the uptake of EV's reaches such limits to cause significant charge rage issues. I think this report fails to recognise the upward curve developments and technological progression.

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