Electric Vehicle charge point

New boost for EVs as more charge points announced

8th May, 2024

How’s this for current events? Electric car numbers are surging on our roads – the proportion of battery powered electric cars on UK highways reached an all-time high in 2023, at 16%. That may not sound all that high initially, but if also include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, that number rises to about 23% – which means almost one in four cars on our roads is powered either partially or entirely by electricity.

However, you don’t necessarily need to rush to scrap your car just yet – there’s still a long way to go before they’ll be the dominant mode of transport. There’s a lot of debate about exactly how helpful they’ll be in the fight against climate change, but one thing is for certain: the lack of charging infrastructure across the UK remains a major sticking point.

Basically, Britain is still nowhere near where it was projected to be, and it’s not even hugely close to its own original targets. Hopefully, that’s changing – starting with the latest news that local authorities are now getting a funding boost.

How much are the UK’s local authorities getting?

It’s a £381 million dedicated fund that’s being shared with 44 councils across England to help roll out charge points across the country. Each of the 44 councils will be able to make the final decisions on exactly where to locate the chargepoints across their boroughs.

Now, as things stand, we’re still quite a long way short of the intended target of 280,000 by 2030. However, the flipside of that is that we are seeing some quite rapid progress over the last year or so – Britain’s public charging network has grown by 49% in just the last 12 months. The number of public EV chargers now stands at just short of 60,000 devices at the start of April 2024 (59,670, to be precise), with the total number of installed devices rising by 19,520.

According to the government’s own stats, that’s a rise of 49%, although to be honest, we presume there’s either a little bit more maths going on behind those figures or someone’s gotten something wrong, because 49% of 59,670 is most definitely not 19,520. (Maybe someone should tweet them.)

Data from Zapmap also gives a clearer picture of the breakdown between different types of charger – it showed that the majority (59%) are slow-chargers, whereas fast chargers and ultra rapid chargers make up about one in five cases each (21% and 19%, respectively).

So, will that be enough?

Right now, it’s difficult to say how much farther this is going to catapult us towards our target, because it depends on how much we’re able to sustain this sort of growth going forward. It’s certainly encouraging news to a degree, but we’re not quite there yet. There’s a fair amount of regional disparity in the distribution of charging points, for starters.

London and Scotland both have the highest density of chargers, with 221 and 93 devices per 100,000 people (for reference, the national average is about 89 per 100,000). The regions with some of the lowest densities, on the other hand, include the North West of England, the Yorkshire and the Humber, both with 53 devices per 100,000 people. Northern Ireland hasn’t had a lot of attention in this regard either, with only 29 devices per 100,000 people.

Electric vehicle owners are, as you’d expect, pretty keenly aware of the issue. In a survey published as recently as March 2024, 62% of EV drivers said that they think that there aren’t enough public charge points, and more than half of motorists said that the lack of charge points puts them off buying an electric vehicle. The findings also reveal that 79% of EV drivers say they’ve made a detour to find a charging point, and 18% of those EV owners say that journey was more than five miles.

As things stand, it’s all reasonably heartening, but we’re not quite there yet – especially if we’re to meet our collective target of 2035 for the phase-out of electric and diesel vehicles. Until then, the problem rumbles on (or glides on soundlessly, depending on whether the problem is being metaphorically embodied by an electric car or not).

That means you’re likely to have your petrol and diesel car for quite some time yet. Unless of course you were planning to scrap yours – in which case, you’re in exactly the right place. With more than 40 years of experience behind us here at Scrap Car Network, we’re committed to making sure we always get you the very best price. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you an instant online quote before you can say cash for cars. It only takes a few seconds. Curious to find out how much your car is worth?

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