UK watchdog studies 'range anxiety' in electric vehicle charging

An electric car at a charging point in Rugby, Britain, Nov 19. There are almost 20,000 vehicle chargepoints in Britain, up from around 1,500 in 2011, although more will be needed in the future, the UK Competition and Markets Authority said. — Reuters

LONDON: Britain's competition regulator said on Dec 2 that it would study whether the fast-growing electric vehicle charging sector worked well in helping drivers deal with "range anxiety", or the worry about not being able to find a chargepoint.

Research showed range anxiety was a key concern for many consumers and ensuring easy access to chargepoints was key to persuading drivers to switch to electric vehicles, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.

Britain will ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

There are almost 20,000 vehicle chargepoints, up from around 1,500 in 2011, although more will be needed in the future as this is the only way to power electric vehicles, the CMA said.

"Being able to easily stop off at a petrol station is a standard part of a journey and consumers must trust that electric chargepoints will provide a similarly straight-forward service," said CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli.

The CMA will look at how to develop a competitive sector while also attracting private investment to help the sector grow, and ensure drivers get the best service from chargepoints.

The CMA said it would consider "how to ensure the sector works well for people now and in the future, which will help to build trust in the service and address any competition issues."

The review will be completed within a year and look at the supply of chargepoints for plug-in hybrid and all-electric passenger electric cars and light vans. – Reuters

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