Electric car charger points lag behind number of eco-vehicles in Havering, figures show

Electric cars are becoming more popular. Picture: David Parry/PA

Electric cars are becoming more popular. Picture: David Parry/PA - Credit: PA WIRE

Electric car usage in Havering is outpacing the borough’s battery charging infrastructure, eco-minded motorists may be shocked to know.

Figures analysed by the BBC Shared Data Unit show that local authority has a lower than average ratio of charger ports to licensed electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles when compared to the rest of UK.

The borough has 370 licensed electric cars – lower than neighbour Redbridge (426) but higher than Tower Hamlets (326), Newham (204) and Barking and Dagenham (159).

However, Havering has only 12 charging locations – giving it at rate 32.4 charging docks per 1,000 electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles licensed.

This is the lowest out of five east London boroughs and a below average rate in England.

Bridget Fox, sustainable transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Sadly this is not a surprise.

“Moving to electric vehicles, as well as reducing overall traffic levels, is vital to tackling air pollution and reducing transport’s CO2 emissions, but for many drivers the lack of easy access to charging is a major barrier to making the switch.”

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She added: “Councils can help by requiring off-street charging points as part of planning applications and by prioritising electric vehicles in car parks.

“We’d like to see more charging points reserved or prioritised for car clubs, which help people go electric in an affordable way.

“E-bikes and e-cargo bikes are an important part of the mix and the new funding for e-cargo bikes announced recently is a small step in the right direction, but we need more.”

The BBC sourced the data for this study from the Open Charge Map and compared it with Deparment for Transport (DfT) and DVLA records.

At the national level, the local authority with the worst rate of charging locations is Cearphilly at 9.6 while the best is Na h-Eileanan Siar, in the Outer Hebrides, at 958.3.

Only 28 councils have so far taken advantage of the government’s £2.5m funding pot for the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which aims to help drivers to charge their vehicle.

Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: “Havering Council is aware that the use of electric vehicles can have a positive impact on the environment in helping to reduce the amount of emissions.

“In order to get a better understanding of the demand for EV charging in our borough, we are currently carrying out a feasibility study as part of our Air Quality Action plan.

“We’re aware of the government’s On Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme but have not yet signed up as we want to get resident’s views and feedback to use when we look to consider any submission for funding for electric charging points in the future.”