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Cenex identifies key barriers and solutions for EV charging infrastructure

In 2020, Cenex were commissioned by The European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E) to produce a research report to:

  • Identify the barriers to the growth and efficient operation of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure network;
  • Propose policy solutions to overcome any identified barriers.

The report was produced using desk-based research, guided by decades of combined industry experience shared by Cenex’s staff. Cenex took a structured approach to identifying and documenting the barriers and solutions included in the report. This approach evolved from an internal workshopping session, through to 19 identified barriers and 21 proposed policy solutions. These barriers and solutions were categorized into four key themes:

  1. Poorly Defined and Inadequately Resourced Role of Public Sector
  2. Cost of High-Power Charging Infrastructure Installations
  3. Difficulty Meeting User Needs in Commercially Unattractive Locations
  4. Market Competition Harming the Electric Vehicle Driver Experience

Within these categories, a scoring and ranking system was used to prioritise the most significant barriers and the most feasible policy solutions.

Key Findings


Following a scoring and ranking exercise, the top five most significant barriers included within the report were:

  1. Lack of capital and revenue funding for local authorities
  2. Lack of accessible, clearly targeted capital funding to cover grid reinforcement costs
  3. Absence of accurate open data on location, specification, and status of infrastructure
  4. Absence of enforceable planning requirements
  5. Property leaseholders and tenants cannot unilaterally install domestic chargepoints


Following the scoring and ranking exercise, the following policy solutions were considered the most feasible:

  • UK Government to provide clear guidance, and an instruction or obligation for local authorities to take action to lead or facilitate EV chargepoint installations
  • UK Government to develop and publish detailed, official guidance outlining a consistent delivery approach for local authorities
  • Create a government-sponsored network to help local authorities co-ordinate EV charging infrastructure rollout
  • Introduce and enforce secondary legislation to regulate the level of service provided by the EV chargepoint operators
  • Target the Rapid Charging Fund solely at electricity network upgrades
  • Update the National Planning Policy Framework to reflect the importance of EV charging infrastructure
  • Fund the development of a new open EV chargepoint database, providing open access to live EV chargepoint network information
  • Introduce a legal definition of price transparency, in the context of EV charging infrastructure
  • Make Rapid Charging Fund payable only to electricity network operators
  • Further specify the definition of “ad hoc access”, consulting the public if necessary


Cenex were pleased to have the opportunity to work with T&E in both the delivery and publication of the EV Infrastructure Barriers report, owing to the record they have of achieving impact through evidenced campaigning. Between the completion of the report and its publication, progress has been made in delivering upon a number of the policy solutions recommended within the report. These include:

  • The commencement of a consultation regarding the EV charging infrastructure level of service, looking at price transparency, reliability requirements and data;
  • Government-sponsored guidance for local authorities being developed, led by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET);
  • Implementing national planning standards regarding the inclusion of EV charging infrastructure in new developments;
  • Introducing the Rapid Charging Fund to cover the cost of expensive grid upgrades associated with high-power EV charging infrastructure projects;
  • Beginning the development of a new, more flexible funding stream to enable local authorities to lead or facilitate the installation of EV charging infrastructure;
  • Announcing the medium-term aim to focus grant funding available through the EV Homecharge Scheme on multi-tenement and leasehold properties;
  • Offering competition R&D funding for organisations developing technologies to improve the EV driver infrastructure experience;
  • Exploring the potential to intervene in order to remove the present monopoly on public EV charging infrastructure at motorway service areas; and
  • Continuing to explore how data from public EV charging infrastructure should be stored and shared.

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