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EV charging sites outnumber petrol stations for first time

07 June 2019

New figures from Zap-Map reveal the extent of the UK’s electric vehicle revolution, with the number of public charging locations now surpassing petrol stations.

Image courtesy of Ionity

Data from Zap-Map shows that as of 22 May, there are 8,471 charging locations across the UK, hosting a total of 13,613 charging devices. In contrast, as of the end of April, there are currently only 8,400 petrol stations in the UK, a figure which is continuing to decline.

There has been huge growth in the UK public EV charge point market in the past 12 months, with the number of locations increasing 57% in that time. Charging points can now be found across the length and breadth of the country, from the Shetland Islands to the Cornish Riviera, from Giant’s Causeway to the White Cliffs of Dover.

The expanding network supports an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road, expanding from only 3,500 cars just six years ago, to more than 210,000 currently. Analysts forecast that by the end of 2022, at least 1 million EVs will be in use in the UK, a figure backed by government policy that looks to electrify all new cars and vans by 2040.

Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map commented: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet. This month’s milestone reveals of the rapid pace of change already underway as the age of the combustion engine gives way to an all-electric era with vehicles offering both zero-emissions and a better driving experience.”

In parallel to the increase in number of charging locations, new technologies are becoming available which offer higher charging rates. Whereas most ‘rapid’ units are rated at 50kW, enabling a standard EV to be fully charged in 40 minutes, the latest ‘ultra-rapid’ units are capable of up to 350kW; ready for the next generation of longer-range electric vehicles.

Commenting on the data, Daniel Brown, EV Lead at the REA said: “The REA welcomes this milestone announcement which points to how quickly the UK’s charging infrastructure network is developing.

“On top of a growing number of on-street and destination charge points across the country, several new companies developing rapid charge points and charging ‘hubs’ have recently been founded or entered the UK market which will give further confidence to both consumers and fleets who wish to go electric.

“National and city-level strategic planning is currently underway and by the end of the year we will see the outputs of both Transport for London and the Government’s electric vehicle taskforces.”

“The consumer experience of using public infrastructure is also improving, with four British charge point operators now connecting up so customers can use one RFID card to seamlessly roam across their networks."

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