That is the headline figure of a Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report which envisages EVs accounting for 60% of new car and van sales by 2030. The additional chargers, most of which are fast (22kW) or rapid (43+kW), would cost around £530m, the report finds.

This could be met through a mix of public and private investment, with many chargers likely to be installed in towns and cities by companies such as supermarkets and leisure centres wanting to attract customers to their services.  

To meet long distance en route rapid charging requirements, the number of rapid chargers located near major roads such as motorways will reportedly need to expand from 460 in 2016 to 1,170 by 2030.

This relatively modest increase is attributed to a rise in the proportion of EVs able to use faster chargers, and an increase in the range of future EVs. In 2016, around 27% of trips needed en route charging, but with increased battery range, this number is expected to fall to less than 1% by 2030. 

The report was welcomed by Jonathan Hampson, general manager for the country’s biggest car sharing club, Zipcar UK.

He said: “UK’s EV infrastructure has a long way to go before it can support a viable EV fleet, and this report provides for the first time a look at the size of the opportunity and the challenge that the UK faces.

“Zipcar wants to rapidly expand its fleet of zero emission vehicles, and we agree with the Committee that rapid charging and parking based charging will be essential to making this happen.”

Rapid charging

The UK is in the early days of an infrastructure evolution. Nissan has claimed that EV charging station numbers would overtake petrol stations in 2020 and Shell is already opening a range of rapid charging service systems across its UK petrol stations.

London’s EV transition moved a step closer this month with the news that the capital’s leading charging network is ready to deploy an additional 1,000 charge points across the city. Meanwhile, charging facilities which draw on 100% renewable energy from street lamp posts are set to be placed on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea, creating the largest network of its kind in central London.

George Ogleby

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