Charging Ahead: The Urgent Need for New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

29 February 2024

Claire Temple Director Harrogate

As the world rapidly transitions towards a greener and more sustainable future, the surge in electric vehicle (EV) adoption plays a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. However, one crucial aspect that demands immediate attention is the inadequate infrastructure for EV charging stations. Despite the efforts from manufacturers and consumers, the lack of planning policy direction from both central and local government could become a roadblock in realising the full potential of electric mobility.

The Challenge:

While the growth in electric vehicle adoption is encouraging, the insufficient infrastructure for charging stations remains a critical hurdle.

One of the glaring issues is the absence of allocated sites by local authorities to address the increasing demand for EV charging infrastructure. There is also a lack positively worded policies that encourage and support new developments in this crucial sector. You can identify policies for EV charging as part of a new development proposal but little in the way of how or where standalone proposals will be supported.

The Numbers Speak Volumes:

EV ownership is predicted to grow exponentially up to and beyond 2040, with the UK bringing forward the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engines (ICE) to 2030.

Data published in January 2022 confirmed that over 1 in 6 car registrations accounted for plug in vehicles, either in the form of plug-in hybrid-, hybrid-, or mild-hybrid- electric vehicles. As such, Government recognises the importance of delivering quality charging infrastructure, to aid the decarbonisation of road transport, and have committed significant financial resource to achieving this through pilot schemes such as the £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund. The Government’s 2018 ‘Road to Zero’ Paper states that the electric vehicles will spearhead the transition toward zero emission transport over coming decades, and as such, the infrastructures for such transport modes, which is easy, affordable, reliant, and efficient. Whilst accepting that for the most part home charging will be most commonplace, the need to develop a public charging network is key to assisting drivers who do high mileage, long distance journeys, or do not have the relevant facilities at home.

Government Support:

In the Autumn Statement in November 2023, the Government announced £32 billion of funding for manufacturers of zero emmi9ssion vehicles. At the time the Government also said it would look to remove any unnecessary planning constraints by accelerating the expansion of charging infrastructure and will consult on amending the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure the planning system prioritises the rollout of EV charge points including EV hubs.

A Call for Action:

The planning system will need to play a pivotal role in addressing the challenges hindering the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations. The most recent draft change to the NPPF on 13th February seeks views on the intensification of brownfield land. No mention of policy for EV charging. Allocating designated sites, formulating clear and supportive policies, and incentivising private investments are crucial steps to ensure a seamless and efficient charging network.


Benefits Beyond Transportation:

Investing in a robust EV charging infrastructure goes beyond addressing the immediate needs of electric vehicle users. It promotes job creation, stimulates local economies, and contributes to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


As the electric vehicle revolution gains momentum, it is imperative that the planning system recognises the urgent need for new electric vehicle charging stations. A coordinated effort, involving clear policies, designated sites, and incentives, is essential to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. Only through decisive action can we ensure a smooth transition to a sustainable and electrified future for transportation.