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World Electric Vehicle Journal is published by MDPI from Volume 9 issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by The World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) and its member the European Association for e-Mobility (AVERE), the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), and the Electric Vehicle Association of Asia Pacific (EVAAP). They are hosted by MDPI on as a courtesy and upon agreement with AVERE.
Open AccessArticle

The provision of public recharging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in the UK – is there a business case?

Newcastle University, Transport Operations Research Group (TORG), Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
Newcastle University Business School, 5 Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4SE, UK
Zero Carbon Futures, SASMI, Washington Road, Sunderland, SR5 3HE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
World Electr. Veh. J. 2015, 7(4), 546-557;
Published: 28 December 2015
PDF [638 KB, uploaded 18 May 2018]


The UK has been one of the most advanced countries in Europe for the demonstration of electric vehicles (EV) and the introduction of the supporting recharging infrastructure. Much of the UK’s EV recharging estate was created and is operated under public subsidy, in order to seed the marketplace for further EV and recharging equipment adoption. This paper addresses the fact that subsidies for the operation of this infrastructure are coming to an end, which is likely to affect EV drivers’ recharging behaviour. As the public funding ceases the infrastructure owners must find other ways to cover the on-going costs of operation and recover capital investments made, in order to provide a continuing and viable service to EV drivers. However, actual uptake of EVs and therefore demand for recharging has been lower than the arguably over optimistic predictions made in 2010 when the subsidies began. The difficulty of covering operating costs with inaccurate EV forecast figures is compounded by factors including asset life and ownership costs, recharging locations, vehicle and charging specifications, vehicle usage patterns and regional demographics. The introduction of fees for recharging at a level which EV drivers are willing to pay is unlikely to enable infrastructure owners to recoup their full costs using conventional business models. A Social and Environmental accounting model could be developed to help inform decision making for the public recharging business case. This paper gives an overview of the findings from the UK supplemented by experience from Republic of Ireland, and comments on the impact of inaccurate EV sales predictions and early changes in recharging behaviour resulting from reduction in subsidies.
Keywords: electric vehicles; infrastructure; recharging; subsidies; business case electric vehicles; infrastructure; recharging; subsidies; business case
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wardle, J.; Blythe, P.P.; Gibbon, D.J.; Herron, D.C.; Hübner, D.Y. The provision of public recharging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in the UK – is there a business case? World Electr. Veh. J. 2015, 7, 546-557.

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World Electr. Veh. J. EISSN 2032-6653 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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