DESPITE a rise in the number of electric vehicles, there has been virtually no change in the number of public charging points in Warrington.

The Government is aiming to entirely phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2030, but it has faced criticism that there are not enough charging points for many people to buy electric cars.

Department for Transport figures show there were 89 publicly provided charging points in Warrington on January 1.

Despite a rise from 66 two years ago, the number has only increased from 85 in the past 12 months.

There were 28,375 public charging points installed across the UK at the start of this year, up from 16,505 in January 2020.

Warrington residents had however installed 1,149 at-home charging points through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme as of January 1.

This demonstrates a 195 per cent increase over the last two years, further Department for Transport figures outline.

The scheme gives applicants a 75 per cent grant towards the cost of installing the charging point up to £350.

There have also been 132 charging points installed at workplaces.

But with residents requiring designated and private, off-street parking for the Homecharge Scheme, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has argued for more investment for those who only have on-street parking available.

Figures from the SMMT show there are now more than 460,000 battery-electric cars in the UK, more than double the number two years before.

On average, an electric car will emit around one-third less carbon dioxide than an equivalent petrol or diesel car, Transport and Environment, a European clean transport campaign group, says.

But a lack of charging points is putting people off from switching, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes argues.

“The automotive industry is up for the challenge of a zero-emission new car and van market by 2035,” he said.

“Delivering this ambition needs more than automotive investment – it needs the commensurate commitment of all other stakeholders, especially the charging industry.”

The Government announced major investment plans in charging infrastructure last month, totalling £1.6billion across a range of schemes.

They include the already announced £950million Rapid Charging Fund to install more than 6,000 rapid chargers on England's motorways, and a £450million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure fund to address the shortfall of local charging points.

By 2030, the Government aims to provide 300,000 public charging points – 18 times the number a decade previously.