Huge Increase In Public EV Chargers

Wed 27th Apr 2022

The number of publicly available electric vehicle chargers is on the rise, with new figures published by the Department for Transport showing a 33 per cent increase over the last 12 months.

The analysis, which is backed by Zap-Map, a service which covers some 95 per cent of UK public chargers, shows that there were 30,290 chargers currently in operation, an increase of 7,500 on the previous year. Close to 2,000 of those new chargers have been installed in the last three months, and 1,235 were rapid chargers, with an output of 25kw or more.

Despite the increase, the UK still has some way to go to meet increasing demand driven by the number of electric vehicles currently being sold. Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that sales of EVs jumped by 78.7 per cent year-on-year. This buoyant market, and the impending government restrictions on the sale of internal combustion engines has led the Competition and Markets Authority published a report last year which said that the network will require between 280,000 and 480,000 chargers by 2030.

The disparity across regions also needs addressing, for while Milton Keynes leads the way in having 137 units per 100,000 of population, there is only 1.3 per 100,000 of population in Northern Ireland.

The news is a concern for many in the industry. “In March, 39,315 new battery electric vehicles were sold – that’s equivalent to 29% more EVs sold in one month than there are chargers across the whole of the UK,” said Joel Teague, CEO of home charger sharing app Co Charger.

“As the SMMT pointed out last month, there was one electric vehicle charger for every 16 plug-in vehicles in 2021. Now it’s half that level. On average just one charger for every 32 vehicles and in some areas of the UK, way less than that.”