Lack of accessible chargers preventing disabled drivers from going electric
Survey suggests new public charger accessibility rules can't come soon enough, with shortcomings in current infrastructure the main reason more disabled drivers aren’t buying electric cars...
More than two-thirds of disabled drivers intend to switch to an electric car in the next decade but worry about the practicalities of charging, new research has revealed.
The survey, which was conducted by electricity producer UK Power Networks in partnership with the Motability organisation, showed that 71% of disabled customers see the shortage of accessible chargers as the main hurdle to them purchasing an electric vehicle (EV).
Currently, the accessibility of public chargers is often undermined by the small size of parking bays, plugs being positioned too high for wheelchair users to reach, and the fact that there are few dropped kerbs to make it easy to get close to charging equipment.
With this in mind, new accessibility standards for EV charging are currently being developed by the British Standards Institute and Motability, having been commissioned by the Department for Transport last year.
In addition, local authorities are working together with UK Power Networks and Motability on the Enable project, which is designed to provide a greater understanding of the needs of customers and inform local authorities on how to increase inclusivity for disabled drivers when making the switch to an EV.
It is estimated that by 2030, there will be 745,000 Blue Badge holders across London, the East and the South East, and more than half of those will rely on public chargers, with 80% of disabled drivers expecting chargepoints to be installed next to disabled parking bays.
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