One in six councils has admitted investing into a charging point that hasn't been used in a year

Electric mobility revolution needs time experts say

The Government and motoring groups have defended investment in electric mobility infrastructure following revelations that many charging points are not being used.

"No one is pretending that everything can change overnight," said the spokesman of the UK Department for Transport (DfT), after the BBC has revealed figures detailing that many charging points across the country are rarely being used.

According to the information BBC has obtained under the Freedom of Information Act request, councils across the UK have spent more than £7.2m on charging points for electric cars over the last three years. However, one in six councils has admitted they have at least one charging point that hasn’t been used at all over the past year with many of the stations being used less than once a week.

"I don't think these charging points are a waste of time; sometimes you have to persevere with new technology," said Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association (AA). "These things take time. At the moment, most people with electric cars charge them at home or at work. There is certainly a role for electric cars to play and I think their price will come down,” he said.

According to the data compiled by DfT in December 2012, there were 4,132 electric cars and 125,270 hybrid electric cars registered in the UK at the end of 2012, with the number growing exponentially since the mid-1990s.  

“You have to invest in the charging infrastructure so that when people buy an electric vehicle there are charging points for them to use,” said Robert Beahan, spokesman of the IET.

The UK government is supporting the development of the electric mobility infrastructure in a bid to reduce the fossil fuel dependency and the emissions generated by private transport.

"We do need a mix of cars in the UK. Most two-car households could get by with an electric car. We need to change attitudes," the spokesman of DfT said.

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