Electric car charging infrastructure will fail to meet 2030 goals without major changes


The ratio of electric cars to chargepoints has grown from 5:1 to 15:1 in just three years, with forecasts predicting it to hit 54:1 by 2030. This national average masks some significant regional disparities, with drivers in the South West (32:1) and North West (28:1) having the hardest time finding a charger.

The difference is clear, especially when compared to Londoners who benefit from comparatively good provision with five cars for every one charge point.

The Government has aimed to have 300,000 electric car chargers by 2030, a tenfold increase on the 30,000 installed in the past decade.

However, the new Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Report has found that there is little hope of hitting this target.

The data highlights the rapidly growing popularity of electric vehicles and how the UK will need to change to adapt.

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Mr Berry added: “The Government vows to have 300,000 public chargers installed by 2030, but with just 32,000 devices in the ground today, our research puts into question whether this target is achievable. 

“It has taken ten years to reach this milestone – we must now build the same number in a single year – and then repeat that feat every year until the end of the decade.

“However, even if we manage to hit this magic tenfold number, we expect to see the ratio of cars to chargers will increase from 15:1 to 54:1, and that’s going to mean a lot more competition for charger provision.

“Competition which is already being felt today in many parts of the country, unless the new Government reignites investment in this area.”

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Despite this growing divide between the supply and demand of public charging infrastructure, three in five drivers of petrol or diesel (ICE) vehicles say their next car is likely to be an EV. 

Novuna predicts that this future demand will result in more than half of UK adults being EV drivers by 2030, the date when the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be phased out. 

This would equate to 54 EVs vying for every public device by 2030 – even if the 300,000 public chargepoint milestone is reached.

Mr Berry continued, saying: “Our findings highlight how the charging network is not only a cause of frustration for EV drivers, but also the millions of petrol and diesel drivers looking to transition to electric sooner rather than later. 

“Having to queue for a charge is a concern raised all too often by motorists, illustrating just how pressing it is for more charge points to be installed as a matter of urgency. 

“Without radically transforming existing infrastructure addressing charging anxiety, the road map to net zero will undoubtedly extend beyond 2030.”

The latest data from Zap-Map shows there were 34,860 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 20,888 charging locations at the end of September. 

This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since September 2021.

Last month, 1,126 new EV charging devices were added to the Zap-Map database.

This dataset does not include EV chargers at home or at workplaces, which are estimated to be more than 400,000.

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