Sunderland leads the way in electric car charging

Sunderland is helping to set the pace in the national rollout of electric vehicle charging points, new figures reveal.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 11:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 1:03 pm
An electric car charger

There were 137 public charging points in Sunderland at the start of January, according to figures from the Department for Transport – a rate of 49 per 100,000 people, which is well above the UK average of 31.

There were 467 electric vehicles licensed in the city at the end of September 2020, according to latest DfT data – up by 31% from 356 in September 2019.

Since October 2019 Sunderland has provided an extra nine of the devices.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Nationally, there were 20,800 public charging points at the start of this year.

Thinktank the Policy Exchange says the speed of creating charging points needs to increase to meet growing demand but local government chiefs say "longer term resourcing" is needed despite a Government pledge to give local authorities an extra £20m – aimed at doubling the 4,000 on-street charging points already funded by the Government.

A report by the Policy Exchange says the speed of the rollout needs to increase from the current rate to meet the planned ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the extra £20m would make it easier for people to switch to electric vehicles.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, welcomed the support, but said "longer term resourcing" was needed.

Transport spokesman David Renard said: "Councils are working hard to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their areas but are doing so against competing demands on their time and local circumstances will vary."