Number of electric vehicle charge points five times greater than in 2015

The number of electric vehicle charge points has surged in recent years, with a five-fold increase in five years.

Official figures show there were 18,265 public charge points in the UK, with 3,206 of these being rapid chargers. This also marks an 11 per cent increase in the year to date.

Looking specifically at rapid chargers, the number has increased by 363 per cent.

However, the Department for Transport says there is an uneven distribution of public charge points throughout the UK. This is because some local authorities have bid for public funding while others have not, with most public charge infrastructure driven by businesses such as hotels or privately owned charging networks.

The average number of charge points per 100,000 people in the UK is 27, but London has the highest average at 57, a long way ahead of Scotland, which is in second place with 35. Meanwhile, Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands have 17, while Northern Ireland has just 16.

Commenting on the figures, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “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.

BMW charging
BMW charging

“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.”