MOTORISTS who want to charge their electric vehicles are finding it difficult to use public charging stations due to poor cell phone reception.
Most chargers across the country can only be accessed via a smartphone app – some users get stuck when they encounter a mobile “black spot”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Ofcom to release a map warning drivers which stations are in the black spots or ‘non spots’ – where one or more of the UK’s four networks are not working.
More than 20 percent of A and B roads in 22 municipalities were affected by signals trying to charge their cars.
A report has also shown that Britons are reluctant to switch to electric motors because of the lack of charging stations and the costs.
More remote areas of the UK were hardest hit there, with 56 per cent of Argyll and Bute in Scotland lacking sufficient connectivity for reliable charging.
In Sevenoaks, Kent, Maldon and Essex 11 per cent of roads are affected, while in Richmondshire in North Yorkshire 28 per cent of roads have problems.
The problem leads motorists to believe the station is down, rather than a cellular signal problem.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, the independent research organization that created the study, told the Sunday times: “There are few things more frustrating for EV drivers than arriving at a charging station they can’t activate.
“This then fuels ‘charging fear’ among those who are not yet convinced that an electric vehicle would work for them.
“Two things have to happen. First, we need an accurate picture of mobile signal connectivity on the road network so charging station providers know in detail what is available.
“And second, the charging points themselves need to be equipped to work wherever they are and whatever cellular network their users subscribe to.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who bought a Tesla Model 3 in 2019, has acknowledged weaknesses in the public charging network are a barrier to getting more electric vehicles on the road.
The government aims to increase the number of fully electric vehicles on the road from 450,000 to 10 million by 2030 and has announced it will spend £1.6 billion to expand the network.
The expansion would increase the number of chargers from 30,000 to 300,000 by 2030.
This exceeds the 66,000 spaces at gas stations because it takes much longer to charge a car than to fill it up.
“THOSE WHO LOSE THE FIGHT”
Quentin Willson, who leads the FairCharge campaign to increase support for electric vehicles, said: “We are asking consumers to jump through hoops.
“All of these charges should be made with simple contactless cards, so you pay for your electricity the same way you pay for your gas.
“If we continue to make it difficult for consumers to change their behavior and buy electric cars and not have confidence in the infrastructure and whether it works or not, we will lose the battle.”
Ofcom said the government’s joint rural network strategy aims to improve mobile coverage, adding: “To ensure reliable mobile connections at charging stations, energy suppliers need to work directly with mobile operators, which we are ready to help with.”
A new report has also revealed that 72% of Britons are put off by the price of electric cars and 58% say charging points are not accessible enough.
Half of UK drivers, 48 per cent, would only consider switching from fossil fuels if prices come down and more charging points are installed.
dr Karen Lucas, Professor of Human Geography and Urban Institute Transport at the University of Manchester, added: “It is clear that people will not face electric vehicles with as many perceived obstacles.
“Many people live in apartments or housing developments or in places with no driveways or garages where you can’t physically put an electric charging station.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8635209/surprising-reason-why-drivers-struggling-charge-electric-cars/ Surprising reason motorists are struggling to charge electric cars after mistakenly thinking the connectors are broken