A new survey from Zap-Map of Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers reveals that around a third of drivers with a disability experience issues when looking for suitable EV chargers that meet their needs. One in seven people questioned also highlighted the very specific challenge they have with the weight of many EV charging cables.
Zap-Map polled 2,200 EV drivers on their experiences of using the UK's charging network. The survey, which has been running for four years, tracks EV driver behaviour and charging patterns for the electric vehicle industry.
Zap-Map and Motability were keen to understand the challenges that people with a disability face when driving (or being driven in) an EV.
This year’s survey asked all the respondents if they considered themselves to have a disability and about the challenges they face while charging their electric vehicles.
The results found that around a third of people with a disability surveyed had difficulties locating a suitable charger that could meet their needs, with one in seven saying that the weight of charging cables makes charging their vehicle difficult.
The survey also revealed that many EV users experience difficulties linked to the force required to successfully attach the connector, the lack of dropped kerbs around charge points and unsuitable parking arrangements.
Dr Ben Lane, Zap-Map’s CTO and Joint MD said:
“The UK is witnessing the start of an electric vehicle revolution with millions of zero-emission cars set to appear on our roads in the near future. The new charging infrastructure to serve those EVs is being built now and we can’t afford to leave anyone behind. Businesses and charge point operators need to focus more effort on improving accessibility and designing charge points which will benefit everyone
“The results of the Zap-Map/Motability survey should serve as a warning to the industry to sit up and take notice. Many disabled people will be thinking about investing in an electric vehicle but could be put off by a lack of accessibility at public charge point locations.”
Catherine Marris, Innovation Lead at Motability, added:
“We know that one in five people in the UK are disabled and Motability’s recent research estimated that there will be 2.7 million disabled drivers or passengers by 2035, with 1.35 million expected to be partially or wholly reliant on public charging infrastructure. As we approach what will be a transformative energy transition in the UK, there is a robust social and commercial case for ensuring that EV charging infrastructure is accessible for disabled people. If we want to work towards a society and economy that is inclusive for all, then accessibility must be a priority.
The worry-free lease package from Motability includes a choice of around 2000 brand new cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) plus insurance for up to 3 people, servicing and maintenance, full RAC breakdown assistance, tyre and windscreen replacement cover and a 20,000 miles a year mileage allowance.
Today there are more electric cars available to lease through the Motability Scheme than ever before, with vehicles from great car manufacturers including Vauxhall, DS, Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW and smart.
Charging at home is the simple, cost efficient way to charge up an EV. A compact, all-weather charging unit can now be installed at the home of Motability customers by BP Pulse, with the cost now included as a part of the lease of the vehicle. Once installed (by a qualified specialist BP Pulse installer), customers will be able to plug in and charge their EV outside their home. Motability customers who don’t have access to off-street parking can choose to access the BP Pulse network of charging points instead for easy on-street charging.