Number of EV charging points in Britain growing rapidly, data shows

A record 6,000 publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging points have been installed in the UK since the start of the year, with the nation now on track to host 100,000 by summer 2025.

Number of EV charging points in Britain growing rapidly, data shows

Image: / ZapMap

That is according to new data from charging point map Zap Map and the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT).

The data revealed that the UK’s 60,000th public charging point was recently added, meaning that 10,000 additional charging points have been added in the past six months.

Installation rates picked up, in particular, since the start of 2024, with 6,000 of these points being added between January and April. A quarter of the installations made in 2024 so far are rapid chargers.

The UK now plays host to double the number of public EV charging points than at the start of 2022.

Think-tank New Automotive welcomed both the increased rate of installations in general, and the fact that ever-more chargers are being added to areas that had previously been poorly served. Chief executive Ben Nelmes said that not only has the private sector “woken up to the opportunity” of installing chargers, but that councils have been taking advantage of grants from the central Government.

ZapMap’s co-founder and chief operating officer Melanie Shufflebotham said: “Hitting 60,000 public charging devices is an extremely significant milestone for electric car drivers across the country.

“This is really just the crest of the wave. There’s a real momentum behind the increased rate of charge point installations up and down the country.

“Without a doubt, it is great news for electric car drivers that not only the sheer number but also the variety of charging options are improving every month.”

ZapMap believes that the UK is likely to surpass the 100,000-charger mark in August 2025.

The UK Government has ambitions for the nation to host 300,000 public chargers by the end of 2023 and has focused its spending so far on facilities across the motorway network, with a smaller funding pot for on-street chargers in residential areas. Building on initial funding, the DfT recently announced initiatives to expedite EV chargepoint installations, including grants for state-funded schools and nurseries, funding for local authorities, and proposals to increase chargepoint numbers.

SMMT statistics

The new data on chargers came shortly ahead of the release of the latest monthly statistics on EV registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Almost 11% more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were registered in April 2024 compared to April 2023, with BEVs now taking a 16.9% market share in cars.

The SMMT has highlighted that five in six BEV sales in April were to businesses and is calling for “urgent action to re-enthuse private buyers into switching”.

An SMMT statement reads: “Drivers today enjoy the widest ever choice of BEV models – more than 100 – powered by the latest technology, and manufacturers continue to provide compelling offers to encourage their uptake. However, the lack of government incentives for private motorists remains a barrier that cannot be overcome by industry alone.”

This concern was recently raised by members of the House of Lords, following several consecutive reductions and closures in Government subsidies and grants including the Plug-In Car Grant scheme. The SMMT has advocated for a temporary reduction of VAT on new BEV purchases to overcome this challenge.

SMMT data has, elsewhere, confirmed a dip in BEV uptake in the van market. Electric models accounted for fewer than 4% of all van registrations in April 2024, down from 6.6% the year prior.

“Such a decline in BEV uptake – just as government targets demand rapid growth – puts green goals at risk,” the SMMT warned.

The UK’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate, which entered force at the start of 2024, requires automakers to ensure that an ever-increasing proportion of their output is accounted for by BEVs. The requirements stand at 22% for cars and 10% for vans this year. Any organisation failing to reach these quotas will need to purchase credits from other manufacturers to account for the shortfall.

Comments (3)

  1. Mike Mann says:

    Charge point availability is an important issue -especially in areas which are charging blackspots. Equally important is the user interface. The standardisation of process and payment with the users preference and without punitive costs or awkward apps should be legislated and brought under CMA controls as the industry appears not to be sorting this out quickly enough. This isn’t just a UK problem either – it is certainly EU-wide. We should also legislate for pay-at-pump for other fuels, but that’s another issue and adjust taxation to reflect carbon and pollution impacts – which is not zero for power, no matter how green the source. Emissions include brake and tyre particulates, and road wear, which are much higher on vehicles with batteries. Road tax should reflect the size and weight of the vehicle too, not just power unit emissions.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    Another little aside is the uncertain fate of batteries, of which I know but little.
    But lithium is close to being a rare metal, and it should not be possible to do anything with it but to recycle it.

    So much of what nature has concentrated in the crust of the Earth, which we mine, is ultimately dispersed and lost!!! Rust for example!!!
    Difficult, is it not?
    Ah, me.

  3. Ian Byrne says:

    While this is to be welcomed, BEVs are not a panacea (and I am the owner of one). On-journey charging typically takes place at times of peak electricity demand, with all the implications that has for supply and grid reinforcement (although this sort of charging is partly correlated with PV production). There is a danger that in the rush for public charging, we may prevent more sustainable solutions (such as battery swapping, which can recharge at times of low electricity demand, and should permit lighter vehicles, too) – what Nio is doing in China is interesting in this respect.
    And the UK Government target is for 300,000 chargers by 2030, not 2023!

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