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‘Work is needed to make electric cars accessible for everyone’


I as soon as heard a idea that nobody is disabled till folks or society places obstacles of their approach. It sounds glib, however perhaps it’s a helpful approach to assist comprehend how the world can look from completely different views. 

Witnessing two wheelchair customers unpicking the multitude of “designed-in” challenges on the primary cease of our tour of Brighton and Hove Council’s electrical car charging installations introduced the idea sharply into focus for me. The location comprised a handful of compact on-street bays located on a steep slope, with woefully cramped pavements, precipitous kerbs and unmanageable chargers. “Accessible”, it was not.

There are round 26,000 public EV chargers within the UK as we speak, with hundreds extra put in yearly. We are able to’t inform you what number of have been put in on accessible parking bays, as a result of many of the community suppliers that we requested couldn’t – or wouldn’t – inform us. Our expertise, and proof from teams we’ve spoken to, suggests it’s barely a handful, and the issue for disabled drivers is compounded by myriad different points across the design of charging units and the vehicles you plug them into.

The tragedy is, we already know methods to cater for disabled drivers. We have now Blue Badges, wheelchair accessible vehicles, devoted parking bays, broad pavements with dropped kerbs, BSI requirements for automotive park ticket machines, and filling station workers skilled to help drivers who can’t pump gas for themselves. Now it appears, within the race to construct infrastructure to assist the switchover to electrical vehicles, all that data and expertise has been thrown out of the window.

As the federal government begins a belated collection of consultations, we’ll be exploring the accessibility challenges tied up within the EV switchover in future, too. Our objective? To not present options, but when we can assist to maintain the highlight centered, we hope to play our half.

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