DfT has spent 15 times more on private than public EV chargers, analysis reveals

A FairCharge analysis of Department for Transport (DfT) figures has revealed that public money spent on installing off-street residential Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers is more than just over 15 times what has been spent on public on-street residential chargers.

The analysis of DfT figures conducted by the FairCharge campaign shows that a total grant value of £104.5m had been spent on the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) since the scheme’s inception in September 2014.

In comparison, the DfT spent £6.8m of grant funding on the On-street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS) since the scheme was established in 2017.

The total spend on the EVHS is fifteen (15.37) times more than the ORCS.

The grant funding for the EVHS led to the installation of 236,697 domestic charging devices, whereas the grant funding had only led to 2,038 public charging devices since the scheme was established.

Public money has led to over one hundred times more private than public chargers being installed to date.

This is despite the fact that just over a third of households in England lack access to off-street parking, leading to yet more questions about whether the Government is doing enough to support the transition to electric vehicles for poorer households.

The Government have recently announced the EVHS will no longer accept applications from homeowners living in single-unit properties, but the revelations paint a clear picture about the lack of attention paid to date to the network of public chargers.

FairCharge, a grass-roots campaign with over 80,000 supporters headed by former Top Gear presenter, Quentin Willson, and which is seeking to ensure the benefits of the EV revolution are available to all, called the figures ‘concerning’ and claimed that Government policy decisions had allowed a sense to develop that EVs were the preserve of the wealthy.

FairCharge has also been highlighting the other barriers that those without access to off-street residential parking are facing if they are to make the switch to EVs, including leading a push to reduce the 20% VAT rate on public charging so that it is equal to the 5% rate for those who charge at home off-street.

The VAT differential is among one factor that a Resolution Foundation published last week estimated could see those with off-street parking paying £139 a year in fuel costs versus £712 for those without.

Quentin Willson, the former Top Gear presenter who is leading the FairCharge campaign, said: “Of course, the EVHS has been great in that is has led so many to make the switch to EVs – but it can’t be right that there is such a big a gap between public money spent supporting off-street and on-street charging. Figures like this add to the feeling that some have that EVs are the preserve of the wealthy.

“If the transition to net zero is to be successful then it must be fair. When it comes to EVs, it just isn’t fair that those who have access to driveways or garages have so much more Government help to support their charging needs than those – on-average much poorer – people who do not. Our FairCharge campaign is aimed at preventing exactly this sort of injustice.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “This Government is building a world-leading public charging infrastructure, committing more than £26m through the On-street Residential Charging Scheme – enough for 6,500 chargepoints across the UK.

“A further £20m is available this year, and our Go Ultra Low Cities scheme is investing £40m in innovative public chargepoint projects, including residential charging and strategically placed rapid and ultra-rapid hubs.”

Image: FairCharge

Sign up for our essential
newsletter service.

Enter your details here.