WE are being encouraged to buy electric cars, but many people may not be aware of an issue with some public charging points.

While talking to someone charging their car in a Yorkshire Dales National Park car park recently I discovered that payment could only be made by means of an app on a smartphone. I made some enquiries with the national park and it turns out that this is the case with their charging points and that they cannot be retro-fitted to accept card payments. It is not the fault of the national park, as there are particular issues, such as difficulties with signals in more remote rural areas.

However, most importantly, it appears that the Government were slow to specify that charging points should take card payments. It appears that new charging points now have to take card payments by law.

The need to use an app on a phone for payment is clearly an issue for potential electric car purchasers, as not everyone either has a smartphone or chooses to have a payment app on their phone.

It does highlight the problems that many of us now face as the economy becomes increasingly 'cashless'. In addition the increased use of QR codes and on-phone 'Covid Passports' highlights the wider problem faced by those of us who choose not to use a smartphone or to rely on apps.

I believe the Government needs to be more aware of this issue and legislate accordingly. They should not commit us to a future where everyone is dependent on a smartphone for everyday activities and payments.

John Bentley


A spokesperson for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: "The EV charging points (‘podpoints’) installed in the ten national park authority car parks do require the use of an app for payment. A government grant was used to pay for the installation of the chargers. Guidance specified that the units had pay-as-you-go functionality and that installers needed to ‘assume all users will have a debit or credit card and a mobile phone’.

Podpoint has said only its super-fast 50kw chargers have a card payment function and that its slower chargers, such as those in the national park car parks, cannot be retrofitted. Other providers also seem to offer a card payment function only on super-fast chargers, too. In remote areas super-fast chargers are often not feasible as they would require upgrades to the electricity supply."