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UK facing an EV charging challenge as sales soar

Jan 2018 Electric Vehicles, Latest News | Comments Off on UK facing an EV charging challenge as sales soar

The UK added less than one new public charging point for every six new plug-in cars sold during 2017, according to car news title Auto Express.

A total of 3,178 public connectors of varying speeds went live over the 12 months from January to December last year – but the latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that more than 20,000 plug-in cars had been registered during the first nine months of the same period, Auto Express found.

Data from charging infrastructure website ZapMap shows that the UK ended December with 14,093 charging points in 4,960 locations, compared with 10,986 and 4,042 at the start of 2017.

The data includes public charging points that are free to use, plus those run by card-based charging schemes such as Chargemaster’s POLAR network.

The numbers break down into three categories – slow chargers (usually those based on a three-pin socket connection), fast (7-22kW) and rapid (50kW and higher). Tesla’s Supercharger network is excluded from the figures, because it is restricted to owners of those vehicles.

The DfT information shows that by the end of the third quarter of last year, there were nearly 113,000 cars eligible for the plug-in grant licensed in the UK – 100,145 in England, 5,995 in Scotland, 2,365 in Wales, 1,610 in Northern Ireland and 2,283 vehicles where the region was unknown.

Factor in the figures on quadricycles, motorcycles and vans, and there are 8.9 plug-in vehicles for every public charging point – close to the European Union’s preferred maximum ratio of 10 per public charging point.

The Scottish network appears to have benefited from government investment through ChargePlace Scotland; the country accounts for around 6% of all licensed plug-in cars in the UK, but has 15% of all fast chargers and a quarter of all rapid chargers. However, despite Wales having around half as many plug-in vehicles registered as Scotland, it has just a tenth of its total of rapid chargers.