Transport Minister Trudy Harrison reckons the UK government is going to help create “one of the best EV charging networks in the world” so that we can all get electric cars and bikes and help save the planet.
There are still quite a few issues when it comes to electric motorcycles that I have, in the past, rabbited on about at length. The main problems with them being, they’re too expensive, they’re not fast enough, they don’t go far enough, they take too long to charge and there aren’t enough charging points dotted around. And then of course there are the humanitarian issues surrounding the mining of the precious metals used to make their batteries, the financial impact of the fact that the price of mains electricity has skyrocketed recently and then the environmental impact of all the fossil fuels that need to be burned to create the electricity to power them, in the first place. But apart from that, they’re absolutely brilliant. Or at least they are when they’re not bursting into flames.
But whilst a Transport Minister promising us more and more charging points isn’t going to make me rush out and buy a plug in motorcycle, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
A trickle of new chargers
At the moment, there are just shy of 30,000 public EV charging stations in the UK, including 5,400 rapid chargers. Trudy said that even now, 600 new chargers are being added to the network every month and that in the future, every new home, office and supermarket that’s built will have EV chargers installed. That will apparently lead to 145,000 chargers being installed every year.
A key part of the strategy will be to expand home EV charging provision, which is great if you’ve got somewhere at home to charge your electric bike (if you dare). But if you live in a city centre like millions of people in the UK do, it’s unlikely that you’ll have somewhere at home to charge your electric bike. And as we all know, at the moment, it’s only really city riding that electric bikes are any good at. Unless you’re happy to only do 30 or 40 miles at a time, that is.
I’m not having a go at the government. As I said, this is a step in the right direction, but it’s only a very small one. The more I think about it (and I do think about it quite a lot), it’s going to be many, many years before we, as a society, are ready for a mass uptake of electric vehicles. There’ll have to be a lot of work done by a lot of people in a lot of different industries before I can see EV motorcycles entering the mainstream. Most people aren’t even ready for electric cars yet, and some of them are actually quite good.
But I’ve been wrong before. So let’s see what happens.