August 23, 2019

EV charging stations surpass number of fuel stations

There are now almost 1,000 more public places to charge electric vehicles (EVs) than there are forecourts to pump petrol in the UK – 9,300 EV charging locations compared to 8,400 fuel stations, according to figures from the Energy Institute.

The crossover happened more than a year before Nissan’s 2016 prediction of August 2020 – a result of the accelerating adoption of EVs amongst UK motorists.

In less than a century since Britain’s first fuel station opened – November 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire – the number of forecourts has peaked, declined and been overtaken by charging stations.

Almost 80% of UK petrol stations have closed since 1970, whilst the number of EV charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 9,000 in August 2019.

Of these locations, more than 1600 provide ‘rapid charging’, and can recharge a typical EV battery to around 80% in under an hour. According to Zap-Map, two new rapid charge devices came online every day in the last month. Almost all UK motorway service stations have charging stations installed, the majority of which provide a rapid charge option.

Transport for London has installed more than 1,000 EV charge points in the last year, yet supply of conventional fuel within the capital is becoming scarcer. Central London has nearly half as many petrol stations per car as the Scottish Highlands; only four remain within the congestion-charge zone.

The introduction of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in April 2019 has led to increasing numbers of London drivers looking to zero-emission solutions for their commercial transport needs.

Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. Commented: “We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety with EVs now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs. The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”