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REA/ Zap-Map survey finds EVs and the public charging network vital during pandemic

General Posted: 5 May, 2020. Written by Lorraine Haskell

Following a recent survey conducted jointly by Zap-Map and REA, it can be said that EVs and the public charging network are vital for essential travel and keeping ‘key workers’ on the move during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey was conducted between 31st March and 2nd April during the covid 19 pandemic, by a sample taken from Zap-Map’s registered users and from 3,189 completed surveys screened for EV use or ownership.

Findings tells us:

  • 83% EV users still reliant on their EV for essential travel and almost three in ten (29%) are still using the public charging network.
  • Almost a quarter of these EV users (24%) identify as ‘key workers.’
  • 98% of the public charging infrastructure is operating as normal – although there is an increase on normal reporting rates of issues.

Furthermore, despite EV use falling significantly in line with the overall reduction in travel, 83% of users are still reliant on their EV for essential travel. Of these, just under a quarter (24%) identify as key workers with the majority of these (36%) working in healthcare with others working across a range of sectors including utilities, food delivery, transport, public safety and education.

Amongst those surveyed, 29% are still using the public and manufacturer-owned charging network. This number increases when looking at key workers, with just under half (47%) reliant on the public charging network. Although this is a reduction in the pre-COVID proportion of usage (which is more than 90%), it demonstrates how important the charging infrastructure continues to be for many EV drivers.

Whilst the vast majority of those surveyed were satisfied with the public and manufacturer-owned network, 21% of users reported experiencing some issues, an increase on normal reporting rates. This number increased to 28% amongst key workers, most likely due to this group utilising the infrastructure more frequently. The two key lockdown-related issues cited are either delays to chargers being repaired and inaccessibility of charge points where a site has been closed or is now behind a barrier.

Zap-Map also reports that 430 charging points, out of a total of over 18,000 across the UK (2%), have been identified as temporarily non-accessible due to lockdown measures. Temporarily inaccessible chargers have been highlighted on Zap-Map.

In light of the issues identified in the survey, the REA has contacted the Government asking them to classify public and manufacturer-owned EV charging maintenance personnel as key workers. For more information visit here.