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Last edited 21 Feb 2022
Electricians are the lynchpin of the EV charge point rollout
Leading electrical trade body ECA has responded to this week’s EV infrastructure report by the SMMT, stressing the need for higher standards of training and competence in the electrotechnical workforce.
While ECA broadly supports calls for an electric vehicle charge point (EVCP) watchdog and a 5 per cent VAT regime for public charging, the body has stressed the point that there can be no EV charge point network in the UK without an upskilled electrical workforce – a point that is missing from the SMMT’s report.
ECA highlighted the ‘wild west’ training and qualifications landscape for professionals wanting to install EVCPs. Many available courses offer little in the way of competency and serve only to perpetuate low industry standards.
ECA Energy Solutions Advisor Luke Osborne said:
“We agree wholeheartedly with the SMMT’s statement that electric vehicle charging really should be as easy and uneventful as refuelling.
“But before consumers are put at the centre of charge point policy, regulation needs to catch up to ensure properly qualified electrical professionals are at the heart of the UK’s strategy to become a world leader in electric vehicle infrastructure.
According to the Skills 4 Climate industry survey report, produced by a coalition of UK engineering services trade bodies including ECA, BESA, the REA and Solar Energy UK, almost 9 in 10 (88 per cent) of engineering services contractors say they support a green economic recovery form the pandemic.
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) support reduced VAT on energy-related activity. Just under two thirds (57 per cent) want the Government to invest more heavily in technical education to help close the skills gap.
A Freedom of Information request made by ECA in late 2021 revealed that two thirds (66 per cent) of local authorities do not have plans in place for EV charge points. Half (48 per cent) of them did not currently operate any EV charge points. A further 60 per cent said they have no funds earmarked for future EV charging infrastructure.
This article originally appeared on the ECA website. It was published on 17 February 22.
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