The majority of UK motorists think electric vehicle (EV) charging points should be marked out by green signs, a new study has revealed. The research carried out by the AA found drivers overwhelmingly prefer the idea of a green sign over the ‘official’ blue signage sanctioned by the government.
In its survey of more than 17,500 motorists, the AA saw that 85 percent said a new green sign should be introduced as it would be more prominent. This, the organization says, could help tackle one of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle ownership - a perceived lack of charge points.
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As part of the study, the AA showed drivers the existing sign approved by the Department for Transport (DfT). The DfT’s sign uses the conventional blue-and-white ‘P’ parking logo, along with an image of a car being plugged in. The words ‘Electric vehicle recharging point only’ are written beneath the two symbols.
The AA’s proposed sign, which was shown alongside the DfT’s effort, is strikingly similar, but the motoring organization’s signs team has swapped the blue square with the white ‘P’ for a green square. Otherwise, the signs are identical.
It seems drivers, though, saw a marked difference between the two, and most said they thought the AA’s green sign “would have the most impact in indicating the location of charging points for electric vehicles”.
The AA said the introduction of a new green sign could make charging points stand out better, helping to increase awareness of the presence of charging points. It’s something AA research has previously highlighted as an issue for prospective EV owners, despite there being more charging locations than petrol stations in the UK.
And the AA says a green sign could also reduce the cases of ‘ICE-ing’, where a petrol or diesel vehicle parks in an EV charging bay.
“Drivers believe there are a lack of charging points, but the case is they are hidden in plain sight,” said Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA. “While fuel forecourts have the benefit of large totem poles, charge points can blend into the background. Changing to a green parking sign will help them stand out and reassure drivers who are thinking about buying an EV that there are more charge points than they think.
“We have also seen that charge points keeping the blue parking sign have accidentally fooled drivers into parking in a charging bay and have ‘ICE’d-out’ electric cars. It may seem such a simple, low key change but sometimes it’s all that’s needed to help make a big difference.”