EV charging stations will overtake petrol stations by 2020

There will be more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations than petrol stations in the UK within four years, according to Japanese carmaker Nissan.

Nissan's Env200 and Leaf models being charged in a car park. The carmaker is the most successful EV manufacturer in the UK mainstream vehicle market

Nissan's Env200 and Leaf models being charged in a car park. The carmaker is the most successful EV manufacturer in the UK mainstream vehicle market

If the amount of EV charging stations continues to increase at the same rate as the past few years, and the number of traditional fuelling stations continues its downward trend, EV stations will overtake petrol stations by August 2020, research from Nissan has found.

Since December 2005, the UK has seen an average decrease of 129 petrol stations per year, coinciding with an annual increase of around 911 EV charging locations. Nissan has estimated that there will be around 7,898 EV charging stations across the UK in four years’ time, compared with 7,869 fuel stations.

EV manager of Nissan Motor (GB) Edward Jones said: “As EV sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving. Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.

“As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.”

Industry growth

Statistics from Go Ultra Low, the joint Government and car industry campaign which aims to increase purchase consideration of EVs, more than 115 electric cars were registered per day in the first quarter of this year, equating to one registered EV every 13 minutes across the country. Go Ultra Low predicts that electric power will be the main propulsion method for UK cars by 2027.

With EVs fast becoming a viable mainstream option, numerous other carmakers and industry commentators have reiterated the pace of change that will be seen within the automotive sector over the next few years.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently predicted that sales of EVs will sky-rocket over the next 25 years, representing 35% of all new car sales by 2040. And last month, Sir Richard Branson told CNN at the FIA Formula E Championship at London’s Battersea Park that “every car on the road will be electric” within 15 years.

This growth in EVs represents a significant economic and social opportunity for the UK, with a recent report commissioned by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) concluding that connected and autonomous EVs could generate as much as £51bn per year by 2030, with the potential for 320,000 newly-created industry jobs.


Nissan is the most successful EV manufacturer in the UK mainstream vehicle market, being the first to introduce a mass-produced EV – the Nissan Leaf, which remains the best-selling EV worldwide.

The Japanese firm recently stepped into the world of energy storage, unveiling a ground-breaking project that will allow customers to sell energy stored by Nissan Leaf cars back to the National Grid.

This vehicle-to-grid charging concept provides a glimpse into the future of a fully-synchronous vehicle, energy and infrastructure system, which Nissan says could “transform the way we consume energy”, cutting costs, providing cleaner energy and stabilising the electricity grid in the process.

Alex Baldwin & Luke Nicholls


electric vehicles | energy storage | Infrastructure


Technology & innovation
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