For many, the biggest barrier to switching from a petrol to an electric vehicle is the fear of ‘running out of charge’. It’s understandable – we’ve maybe been conditioned by pretty much anything rechargeable needing to be plugged in at the point we most need to use it (we think that’s called Murphy’s Law) but we’re here to dispel some of the myths that abound and put your mind at rest about the UKs growing network of electric vehicle charging points.
Supply and demand
Yes, it’s back to basics to start with and the demand for electric vehicles is definitely increasing. As of May 2021, there are around 535,000 electric vehicles on Britain’s roads. This breaks down to 260,000 battery-run vehicles and a further 280,000 hybrids.
Additionally, there is an increasing trend for large corporations to start being more sustainable. Royal Mail are one example of this with a recent decision to add 3,000 electric transporters to its fleet. More car manufacturers are getting in on the act too, with premium brand Rolls Royce now working on developing its first electric car.
These are small steps, but they are definitely in the right direction and, the more electric vehicles become ingrained in day-to-day life, the more investment in infrastructure will be justifiable.
What are the trends?
According to zap-map.com, a wealth of information on all-things electric transport, there are some comforting statistics for those of you who are worried about being caught short on a long journey:
- Across the UK, there is an electric vehicle charging connector (EVCC) every 23.35 miles, which can be compared to petrol stations which are located every 29.39 miles;
- As of May 2021, there is a total of 41,966 connectors at 15,547 locations in the UK, with Greater London, the South East and Scotland ranking highest in terms of numbers of connectors per electric vehicle on the roads;
- From 2016 to 2020, there was a 220% increase in the number of public charging points across the country;
All this should be seen as positive and compelling in the argument for switching to greener transport solutions.
Commuters are busy, busy, busy – always on the go with no time to spare in their hectic schedules. So, how does this work when they need to stop and charge their vehicle?
The good news is, being busy is a common issue, so it hasn’t been missed in the planning process. Chargers fit into four categories: slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid.
Ofgem recently confirmed their first slice of investment - £300m of an expected total of £40bn over the coming seven years – in the UK’s energy networks. This will equate to an impressive 40% growth in rapid charging devices, making an important step towards addressing the speed of charging.
Zap-map.com have an excellent map showing all charging points across the country which can be filtered for connector types, networks, and locations and also used as a journey planner. So, while it’s true that a little extra planning is required to ensure you can be in the right place at the right time, we believe this is a small – and temporary – price to pay for such a positive environmental impact.