EV Sales Outstripping Charger Demand

Thu 9th Dec 2021

The UK’s electric vehicle revolution could be about to hit a power cut as new analysis from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reveals that the country is falling behind in having a charging network which can cope with demand.

Like most things in motoring recently, the pandemic is being blamed for the ratio of chargers to plug-in cars declining by 31 per cent in 2020. For while EV sales remained relatively strong during lockdown, the councils and local authorities almost certainly paused all non-essential activity, and even some commercial ventures would have slowed charger installation.

That means that while there was 11 vehicles to every public charger in 2019, there are now on average 16 EVs hoping to share that same spot.

According to the SMMT there is just one charge point being installed for every 52 new plug-in models registered. And compared to the rest of the world, the ratio of EVs to chargers is falling far behind. In South Korea the ratio is 3:1, the Netherlands is 5:1 and Belgium and Japan are 13:1. The UK does beat Germany, but only just 17:1.

“Appetite for electric vehicles has never been higher, but making Britain a net zero nation means convincing everyone, wherever they live, that an electric car can meet their needs,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.

“Recent Government funding for infrastructure was welcome but more private sector investment in public charge points is needed across the country. The UK therefore needs a framework of regulation that makes it easier to fund, build and operate electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”