The spokesperson for the firm, which is a joint venture between Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and others, added: “The goal for Ionity is to ensure customers are not in a situation where they will be stuck with no charge and unable to find a working charger. We do not have single-charger sites. Instead, we design hubs with six to 18 chargers, which creates busier sites which are less isolated.”
Moto, operator of 58 service stations across the UK, also spoke to Autocar on the issue. It said night-time driver safety is “an important part of our EV charging infrastructure” and its charging stations are near to main buildings, which are manned 24/7.
“This is to ensure all drivers feel comfortable, whether they are refuelling or recharging at Moto services,” said a spokesperson. “All our EV charging areas across the UK have a good standard of lighting. This is to ensure drivers can both see and be seen.”
The spokesperson added: “We also have security set up at some of our sites where we feel it both necessary and appropriate to do so.”
However, the RAC wants confidence in EV charging to be given more thought. Williams said: “Not only must [drivers] be confident the charger is working, but standards could also be set around adequate lighting and weatherproofing.
“The specific location of chargers in relation to other local buildings and amenities should also be considered. After all, a driver needing a night-time charge is far more likely to be confident using one if it’s part of a service area that is open overnight and used by plenty of other people, rather than stuck out on its own in the back of a car park.”
Speaking about the call to make the network more reliable, the DfT recently told Autocar that the EV rapid-charging network will be required to have a 99% reliability rate under new laws coming in later this year.
This, ministers hope, will eradicate range anxiety and create a “world-class” charging grid.
The legislation includes a £1.6bn investment in 300,000 new charge points across the country, which, says the DfT, would be five times as many as traditional fuel pumps currently in operation. These will be working by 2030 and spread across the country, it promises.