Is year of the electric car driving to a dead end?

Electric car infrastructure is still struggling to make inroads in what is supposed to be its year.

The redundant charging point

The redundant charging point

While ambitious plans are there in principle to deliver nationwide charging points for electric cars actually getting them in place appears to be hard going.

Local authorities, while keen to promote electric cars, seem to be struggling to build the correct infrastructure.

Take the example of the London borough of Lewisham (pictured) where the council has put in a dual charging point only to hastily remove it over a 'hiccup'.

The council, through a contractor, placed the charging point on the wrong side of a car park in the busy shopping area of Blackheath in south London - away from the electricity supply.

About two months ago the point was originally installed with markings reserving one space next to it for an electric car.

However, today while the charging point has been moved to the other side of the car park to get power - the reserved parking signage has not.

This has obviously created a fair amount of confusion and rendered the electric point virtually useless as no signage reserves it solely for electric cars.

While the reserved car parking space for electric cars now has no charging point placing it firmly in the chocolate teapot column too.

A council spokesman admitted a 'hiccup' meant the infrastructure was wrongly installed, but that the contractor would cover the cost of putting it right.

He said: "To link up to the original point we would have to dig a trench through the middle of the car park, which would have caused a lot of disruption.

"Moving the dual action point was the best solution and the 'electric only' markings are due to be moved soon as well."

He also said the council was adding at least eight electric car points throughout the borough.

Looking at the wider picture, just last month, research from automotive intelligence firm JATO Dynamics revealed electric cars sales were 'sluggish'.

It reported that just 599 electric vehicles were registered in the UK in the first half, but this is a big improvement on last year, before the government borough in a £5000 subsidy.

At the time a JATO spokesman said the market is set for 'significant growth' but needs to convince buyers electric cars are 'fit for purpose'.

Have you got any better examples of the poor installation of low carbon or green infrastructure? Let me know by emailing me on or on twitter @lukeawalsh.

Luke Walsh


energy manager


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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