UK front gardens at risk from EV

Electric vehicle charging tech designer EO Charging has polled 2,000 British homeowners to ascertain how they were balancing greener motoring with the potential loss of garden space.

Cottage with front garden

Worryingly, the poll suggests that nearly half (49%) of UK homeowners are considering paving over their front gardens to accommodate an electric vehicle. Britain’s front gardens are a vital refuge for plants and wildlife but at the same time we need to acutely cut vehicle emissions.

In the past few decades, front gardens have continually been sacrificed to make way for characterless parking spaces to accomodate the country’s growing dependency on (numerous) cars. Front garden car parks are not just an eyesore, but they increase urban temperatures and diminish biodiversity. According to the RHS, over five million front gardens have no plants growing in them (that’s one in three for the UK) and four and a half million front gardens (one in four) are completely paved over.

The EO poll results show that 13% UK homeowners currently own or have owned an EV. Of those who own EVs, 70% have already made changes to the front of their homes and gardens to accommodate, with 22% cutting back on green space.

More than half (53%) of the poll respondents were worried about the trend of people paving over front gardens, naming protection of important habitat for plants and wildlife (65%) as a reason as well curb appeal in the form of increased property value (59%). A significant number also recognise the value of front gardens in reducing flooding (55%).

EO Charging wants to highlight that making space for EV charging at home does not mean losing the benefit of green space in front gardens, and has teamed up with London based, Tulip Landscapes to provide tips on how a compromise can be achieved.

Henrietta Norman, landscape architect and creative director of Tulip Landscapes, added: “With a little creativity and planning it’s possible to free up the space to charge and keep the much-needed habitat and beautiful planting our front gardens are known for. Whether it’s by choosing permeable paving options and weaving in plants that are happy with a little foot traffic or creating planting pockets, integrating green roofs for bin or bike sheds into your design, or even considering vertical surfaces and growing climbers, homeowners can strike a balance between greener motoring and green space because there will be a practical and attractive option for every situation.”

The survey was carried out on behalf of EO by market research company Mortar Research.