'Massive failure!' UK needs 'EV evangelist' to stop charging crisis warns ex-Top Gear host

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Earlier this month, it was announced that more than seven in 10 UK councils have no official transition plan for electric vehicles. An investigation carried out by FairCharge, a UK campaign for electric vehicles, found that just 28 percent of local authorities have released a strategy for supporting the switch to electric motoring.

Quentin Willson, a former Top Gear presenter and the ambassador of FairCharge, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the issue.

Mr Willson said: “We sent a freedom of information request to 300 or something councils, and by the deadline 76 percent of them had responded.”

The electric car enthusiast added that he was shocked to find out that only 25 percent of councils across the UK have transition plans in place, despite the Government mandating to do so.

Mr Willson continued: “This throws up a real problem I think.

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“When the Government devolves this to local councils to do, it’s going to take longer, it’s going to be more difficult, they’re not going to make the right decisions.

“It’s underpinned by this fact that if you want to do this, if you want to roll out this fantastic world-class infrastructure that the UK needs to have in place, then you need to have people who know what they’re doing.”

The UK will ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, and if nothing changes before then the country could be left behind, the expert warned.

Mr Willson stressed that in order for the changes to happen, the UK needs a “dyed in the wool kind of EV evangelist” who knows what they are doing.

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The TV presenter said: “They need to know about the cars, about the charges, and about range anxiety.

“And, you’ve got to future proof these decisions as well.

“It’s no good going for a 50-kilowatt rapid charger, when actually what you’re going to need probably in the next year is a 125-kilowatt or a 150-kilowatt.

“It really does need some experience and some cleverness and some intellect, otherwise it’s going to be a massive failure.“

“They created this fantastic network all across the UK and in fact the world with these high-speed superchargers and they work so well.

“Tesla drivers have around 15-20 minutes and they’re fully charged and off they go.

“They did that without any Government support.

“We should be doing this as well.

“We are a first world economy and we are supposed to be re-industrialising the UK.

“We’ve really got to apply some thought to this. And, simply passing the buck to local councils, who frankly have enough to do, it’s a recipe for disaster.“



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