Electric vehicle charge point installations up for another quarter

By - World Infrastructure Journal

Electric vehicle charge point installations up for another quarter

Just under 25,000 public electric vehicle charging devices have now been installed across the UK, with new additions up seven per cent from last quarter.

Latest figures released from the Department for Transport revealed that 1,584 charging points had been added in the second quarter of 2021. Just over 18 per cent of these were rapid devices which are able to charge a vehicle up to 80 per cent in 30 to 80 minutes.

While all regions saw a growth in devices installed, there is still great disparity in the roll-out of public charging points. London undoubtedly leads the way with over 83 points per 100,000 people compared to the UK average of 36. This is especially concerning given that London has higher public transport use compared to other, less connected, regions.

Northern Ireland in particular has just 17 charging points per 100,000 people and grew just 0.9 per cent in the last quarter. If the UK is to meet its target of stopping the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicle cars by 2030, then it needs to be ensured that all parts of every nation are equipped to meet this challenge.

This is especially true given the slowdown in public installations throughout the pandemic. Down from 44 per cent annual growth since 2015, installation numbers grew just 36 per cent this annum. This is marginal given the 66 per cent annual increase in electric vehicles registered, equivalent to nearly 600,000 new vehicles.

At a time when electric vehicle infrastructure is more necessary than ever, just 25,000 public charging points fail to meet the mark. While these figures fail to outline the number of home charge points across the UK, one of the biggest concerns for car buyers is the ability travel long distances. Without long range capabilities across the UK, electric vehicles will continue to be seen as a second choice.

The National Grid also raised concerns that while they are equipped to cope with more residential charging points, large-scale charging stations are a bigger infrastructure challenge. They are currently working with government to find the best places for charging infrastructure, especially on motorways for distance drivers.

However, it is vital that charging ceases to become a concern. This will only happen when charging infrastructure is as common as finding a parking space – which means shopping centres, hotels, entertainment venues and the likes need to be equipped too. Until then, the UK will simply miss the charge for electric vehicles.

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