Number of public rapid EV chargers up 363% in five years

UK rapid EV charger numbers grow to meet increased demand of electric cars

The number of publicly accessible electric vehicle rapid chargers in the UK has risen 363 per cent in the last five years, according to fresh official figures.

Data released by the Department for Transport in conjunction with Zap-Map reveals that as of July 2020, there are 3,206 public rapid chargers across the country. The total number of public EV chargers, meanwhile, has been on the rise - up 11 per cent in the year-to-date to 18,265.

The UK now has an average provision of 27 public EV chargers per 100,000 people. Regionally, London has the highest, at 57 per 100,000, followed by Scotland with 35, and north-east England with 30.

At the other end of the scale, Northern Ireland has just 16 public EV chargers per 100,000 people. Joint second-lowest are the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, both of which have 17 per 100,000.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, commented: “Despite the coronavirus, it’s clear that the installation of new electric vehicle chargers is continuing apace. With suggestions that we may have passed ‘peak petrol’, the sight of plenty of new chargers in prominent locations like supermarket car parks could be the nudge that some drivers need to opt for a plug-in car next time they change their vehicle, over one powered purely by petrol or diesel.

“While home charging is one of the most important elements of electric vehicle ownership, a comprehensive public charging network is also vital to giving drivers confidence they can keep topped up when away from home. For this reason, it’s vital new chargers are installed right across the UK in rural as well as urban locations.

“It’s also important that rapid and ultra-rapid chargers start to make up a greater proportion of new public chargers - this will mean the ‘turnover’ of electric vehicles using them can be as high as possible, and can go some way towards making the process of charging a car as normal as filling one with fuel.”

Last year, the number of EV charging locations in the UK superseded the number of fuel filling stations for the first time.

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