Is UK On Track For EV Switchover?

Thu 12th Nov 2020

Electric cars are more popular than ever, and with the government promising to ban combustion engines within the next 15 years it looks like sooner or later we will all be driving an EV, but a new report says much needs to be done before the infrastructure is ready to deal with demand.

A report from Zap-Map, which looks at how many EV charging points there are in the UK, has found that while the vehicle charging network has grown by almost a fifth in 2020, there is still not enough ‘rapid’ devices.

There are an estimated 19,500 electric car charging points on the network, but only 3,500 ‘rapid’ devices, meaning that if you are caught low on battery power whilst out on the road, it is likely you will be waiting a while for a full charge.

The difference in charger performance is dramatic. A 7kw charger would take seven hours to fully charge the new Nissan Leaf, while a 50kw charger could get a full charge in just an hour.

It is a problem which needs addressing sharply if the country is to be ready to go all-electric.

“The rise in the number of charge points across the UK is very encouraging and sends all the right signals to drivers who might be thinking about opting for an electric model next time they change their car,” said the RAC’s data insight expert Rod Dennis. “Add in the fact that many people with electric cars can charge from home and overall it’s a positive picture.

“But there’s still a way to go and the focus now needs to be on installing as many fast chargers as possible, given that less than a fifth of public chargers are rapid. While the speed of fully charging an electric car can’t compete with the five minutes or so it takes to fill up a petrol or diesel model, a greater number of faster charge points could help tempt more people to ‘go electric’ sooner.”