Electric Vehicle Charging Points Overtake Petrol Stations in the UK
The demand for electric vehicles in the UK has increased massively in recent years and there are now more places for people to publicly charge their vehicle than petrol and diesel owners have to fill their tank.
Figures have shown that there are 9,300 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the UK and 8,400 fuelling stations, demonstrating a definite move towards using an alternative power source for our vehicles.
This has happened a year earlier than was predicted by Nissan – manufacturers of the first mass-market electric car, the LEAF – and is a direct result of the fast-improving infrastructure for electric vehicles in the UK.
For those of us living in and around Lincolnshire this may come as a surprise, as electric vehicle charge points are so much rarer in our area compared to larger cities.
This year alone, sales of electric vehicles are up by 70 per cent as buyers take advantage of government grants and perks such as road tax exemption and, from 2020/21, no company car tax.
The first petrol station opened at Aldermaston in Berkshire in November 1919 and in fewer than 100 years the number of forecourts has peaked, declined and been overtaken by charging stations designed for battery-powered cars; almost 80 per cent of UK petrol stations have closed since 1970.
In 2011, when Nissan launched the LEAF in the UK, there were only a few hundred charging locations.
The increased demand for electric vehicles means it has become vital that our industry meets the requirements needed to run electric vehicles easily and efficiently. This includes how far the car can travel, where it can be charged and making sure that the charging process is quick and effortless.
According to Nissan GB’s Managing Director Kalyana Sivagnanam: “We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety as EVs now exceed the vast majority of customers’ daily driving needs.
“The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road.”
According to Zap-Map, the charging point platform, two new rapid charge devices appeared online every day in the last month.
Almost all UK motorway service stations have charging stations installed and car parks feature charging points for customers to use while they shop.
EV charging points are more common in certain areas than others. For example, in London the introduction of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone in April 2019 has led to increasing numbers of London drivers looking to zero-emission solutions for their commuter or commercial transport needs.
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has also announced plans to install more than 1,000 public charging points on residential streets.
The UK government has also proposed the installation of charging points for EVs in all new housing.
Electric vehicle technology has continually improved; recent models are both affordable and practical for the majority of new car buyers.
Changes and developments in the use of electric vehicles mean they are becoming more reliable and are a more attractive choice for consumers making decisions about their next mode of transport.
According to the latest Consumer Insight Panel survey by Motors.co.uk, 10 per cent of consumers surveyed said they expect to buy an electric vehicle (EV) as their next purchase – twice as many as when the research was last conducted, in August 2018.
It’s clear that in future electric charging points will be commonplace and it might be harder to find petrol stations instead!