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Reliability of charging network is ‘major barrier’ to fleets’ adoption of EVs

UK fleets are being hampered from embracing EVs due to the inconsistent quality of the charging experience and reliability of chargers.

Chaco charging point with car on charge

The inconsistent quality of the vehicle charging experience is impacting on UK fleet’s adoption of EVs, says Chago UK

So says EV charging station manufacturer Chago as it points to the high numbers of chargers that are out of service, combined with the slow growth of the charging network, as major barriers to fleets currently adopting electric vehicles.

“We see many chargers on our travels that are out of order which is crazy. This is generally caused by pre-emptive maintenance not being carried and out and poor quality components that are failing which is inexcusable,” explained James O’Neill, Chago UK director.

“Fleets carrying out their own due diligence into the current infrastructures are witnessing the inconsistencies of the charging experience, particularly in public areas,” he added.

“The experience for current EV users is often frustrating and will need to change if fleets are going to fully embrace electric vehicles onto their choice lists.”

In 2016, Chago adopted a new UK strategy of working directly with both the public and private sector with local authorities, energy companies, real estate developers and fleets and says it’s quickly come to terms with the real state of the charging experience.

The firm said the change of strategy followed the huge amount of calls it was getting from car park providers, corporates, transport groups and energy companies intent on growing the charging network in one form or other.

“In the UK we have spent time to ensure the quality of charger installations and upkeep for Chago products is first class. This is essential from both a reliability and safety perspective as well as ensuring the driver receives the best charging experience possible. If this happens each time they use a charger then the driver is likely to share the experience with fellow drivers and opt for another electric vehicle. This will create a positive feeling about EVs,” said O’Neill.

“We believe that over the next one to two years the charging infrastructure will grow more rapidly than at any other time in history. Funding seems to have been freed up, including the £7.5m workplace charging scheme, and everyone is realising that the slow growth of the charging infrastructure over the past five years has hampered further growth in EV sales,” he concluded.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.