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How accessible are electric car chargers?


Are electric car chargers accessible? 

Just like everyone else, lots of drivers with disabilities are keen to embrace electric car – but at the moment public chargers can be an obstacle. Unfortunately, some electric car chargers across the UK aren’t accessible for drivers with disabilities right now. However, the good news is that there are now plans in place to make things more inclusive to help more drivers with disabilities to make the switch.   

Driving disability charity Motability estimates that by 2035 there’ll be 2.7 million drivers with disabilities on the road. And around 50% of them won’t be able to charge at home so it’s vital that public chargers are accessible before they can go electric.


What are the problems with electric car chargers? 

One of the main barriers to public charging is that wheelchair users can’t always access them, for example kerb heights are sometimes a problem, charging bays aren’t always wide enough for wheelchair access, also cables can be too heavy to lift and surfaces often get slippery because there’s no cover. Also it’s tricky to find information on how accessible public chargers are – and makes it hard for drivers with disabilities to plan journeys.  

Not surprisingly, this is putting off some drivers with disabilities from swapping to electric cars.  

What’s changing? 

The government has worked with Motability and the British Standards Institution to improve things. Firstly, they’ve developed consistent accessibility standards so that public chargers can be labelled as either fully, partially or not accessible, just like they did with tube stations in London. Also they are now working with charge point manufacturers to boost standards for those that aren’t accessible or only partially accessible. 

The new standard for accessible electric car charging (PAS 1899:2022) can be found here


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