The public charging network for electric vehicles is ‘not fit for purpose’ due to high costs, poor reliability and confusion, a poll has found.

Some 69 per cent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations.

The findings are based on a survey by experts at Which? who said the problems are hitting the take-up of electric vehicles (EVs) which offer greener and cheaper travel costs than petrol and diesel cars.

A third of EV drivers and 48 per cent of hybrid owners said public charging points are too pricey. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than charging at home.

Meanwhile, some 73 per cent of survey respondents said they have experienced a faulty public charger at least once in the last 12 months. And 37 per cent said it was difficult to find one in working order.

Some 69 per cent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations (Stock Image)

Some 69 per cent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations (Stock Image)

Some 69 per cent of electric car owners are dissatisfied with the availability and operation of charging stations (Stock Image)

A third of EV drivers and 48 per cent of hybrid owners said public charging points are too pricey. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than charging at home (Stock Image)

A third of EV drivers and 48 per cent of hybrid owners said public charging points are too pricey. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than charging at home (Stock Image)

A third of EV drivers and 48 per cent of hybrid owners said public charging points are too pricey. They add VAT to the cost of using them, making it much more expensive than charging at home (Stock Image)

The study found 21 per cent of EV drivers and 25 per cent of hybrid owners found the charge points confusing and difficult to use.

This is largely because there are lots of different operators, each with their own app. Some 85 per cent said they would prefer a simple system that allows contactless payment. 

Sue Davies, Which? head of consumer protection policy, said: ‘People want to make more sustainable choices and switch to an electric vehicle, but many drivers have a lack of confidence in the public charging infrastructure.

‘The Government and charge point operators must continue working together to ensure the UK’s charging infrastructure is up to scratch. Charging must be easy and reliable.’ 

One Which? member said they could not use a charger because it required an app to be downloaded and their phone had poor signal.

Another described public charging infrastructure as ‘dismal’, claiming it is ‘infinitely more complex’ to charge an EV than to buy petrol.

One Which? member described public charging infrastructure as 'dismal', claiming it is 'infinitely more complex' to charge an EV than to buy petrol (Stock Image)

One Which? member described public charging infrastructure as 'dismal', claiming it is 'infinitely more complex' to charge an EV than to buy petrol (Stock Image)

One Which? member described public charging infrastructure as ‘dismal’, claiming it is ‘infinitely more complex’ to charge an EV than to buy petrol (Stock Image)

The Transport Department said the number of charge points has risen by 45 per cent in a year and the Government is on course to meet, or pass, a target of 300,000 by 2030.

Richard Hebditch, of campaign group Transport & Environment UK, outlined big regional disparities in public charge points.

He said MPs need to deliver infrastructure in areas like Yorkshire and the North West so they can level-up their ‘provision of charging’.

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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