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NOV 22, 2021 | Press Release

New poll reveals Londoners’ top priorities at electric vehicle charging stations

  • New polling commissioned by Arcadis, and carried out by YouGov, highlights that charging speed and convenience are top priorities for London’s current and future EV drivers
  • When asked about the facilities people expect to find at a charging station, respondents noted access to a toilet as a top priority with 40 per cent considering this essential
  • While not considered essential, many considered other facilities such as shops, cafés and gyms to be useful
  • A third (34 per cent) said they would expect to stay at a charging station until their vehicle was fully charged (on average over 30 minutes)
  • Results from the survey will be used by Arcadis to inform opportunities to build, own and operate rapid EV Charging Hubs across London, with several hubs intended to come forward for development in 2022

(22 November 2021) With demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) only set to increase in London as the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expands, having suitable charging infrastructure to meet customer demands and expectations is more essential than ever. Arcadis are seeking to meet this challenge head-on and are currently working to deliver several rapid charging hubs for EVs across London’s road network.

The concept is that rapid charging hubs will operate much like a traditional petrol station where drivers pull into a forecourt to charge their vehicle, with a full charge taking on average up to 30 minutes.

But what do London’s road-users expect from a rapid charging hub? Do they want to use them in the same way as a traditional petrol station or do they expect a more exciting experience? To find out, Arcadis commissioned YouGov to ask Londoners what their top priorities from a charging hub would be, and the results, with 1,162 adults in London polled, showed Londoners are open to taking part in a wide range of activities while they wait – as long as they can get fast and cheap charging of course.

Given 34 per cent of respondents said they would wait the full 30 minutes to charge their vehicle, what would they expect to do with that time? When asked what the essential amenities at an EV charging hub should be, a lot of people’s minds went immediately to their bladders with the top response being access to a toilet or changing facility. This was considered essential by 40 per cent of respondents. Similarly, a number of respondent’s minds were drawn to ever unpredictable British weather, with 36 per cent citing protection from the elements in a covered waiting area as essential.

Aside from the essentials, Londoners were open to seeing a wide range of facilities to help occupy their 30-minute charging time. Over half the respondents considered retail outlets such as coffee or sandwich shops or newsagents and even hairdressers to be useful additions, while 36 per cent said they would even be happy to put some time in at the gym or a climbing wall if one was available.

Ultimately though, the basics were seen as being the most important elements. When asked, over 82 per cent said fast charging points were important and immediate access to a charging point was the second most important consideration, with 81 per cent not wanting to have to wait to find an available point. 81 per cent also said the cost of charging their vehicle was important to them.

The survey follows the launch of Arcadis’s recent ‘Global Electric Vehicle Catalyst Index 2021’, which looks at 12 countries and states to see how well they are doing – and where they could improve – when it comes to EV adoption. The UK ranks highly when it comes to country- and city-wide EV strategies and legislations, with the government putting the country on course to be the fastest nation in the G7 to decarbonize cars and vans. However, when taking into account the number of EVs currently registered, the ratio of EVs per public charge point is as high as 27.2, putting the UK behind other European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany and France when it comes to the number of public charge points available.

Simon Swan, Future Mobility Senior Director at Arcadis, said:

“It comes as no surprise that Londoners want to see rapid charging hubs get the basics right. If we’re going to make the transition to EVs as attractive as possible to people, we need to make sure charging is fast, simple and good value for money.

“To support the growing number of EVs in London it is forecast that between 2,700 to 3,900 rapid chargers will be required to meet demand. This has led to a focus on hub models which can offer multiple charge points at a single site to provide a highly reliable service with minimal wait times.

“Arcadis is investigating opportunities to develop and operate rapid hubs, with a focus on reinventing the charging experience. We want to provide Londoners with a safe and pleasant environment to recharge their car and make the most of their time whilst they are waiting. The results of this survey provide an opportunity to understand what is essential to include in our designs for London can make the charging experience attractive for all road users.”

Kerri Moore

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Kerri Moore, Corporate Communications

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