UK EV charging network has expanded by 30% in last 12 months, according to new data

Zap-Map data suggests EV charging network growth in the UK is struggling to keep pace with sales of new electric vehicles.
UK EV charging network has expanded by 30% in last 12 months, according to new data

The UK's public-access charging network for refuelling electronic vehicles grew by around 30% last year, reaching a total of 37,000 by the end of 2022.

That's according to a recent study on the country's EV infrastructure by Zap-Map, a charger network mapping company, which shows a record 8,700 new chargers were installed last year.

The findings have arrived as the UK is now another calendar year closer to its ambition of banning all pure petrol and diesel cars from car showrooms by the end of the decade.

Zap-Map says UK government efforts to promote EV purchases to halt oil-based car sales by 2030 led to a 38% sales increase last year, surpassing Y/O/Y growth in the charging network. 

That could mean there's less chargers to go round, ZapMap suggested, raising "fears of consumer frustration and a reluctance to make the switch to electric."

Justin Godfrey-Cass, head of transport solutions at Wireless Logic, an IoT connectivity and SIM cards provider in Slough, UK, suggested planning restrictions and poor connectivity in some locations was curbing the proliferation of public EV chargers, along with cost bottlenecks of delivering new infrastructure.

According to planning industry reports, UK developers must have planning permission where EV chargers are proximate to protected properties and heritage sites, and in designated green areas like national parks.

Planning permits are not required for the standard installation of electrified upstands in neighbourhood areas, so long as the district is already used for neighbourhood parking.

However such developments cannot rise more than 2.3 metres from surface level, and must not be installed in highway areas that lack off-street parking which appears to rule out motorway development without a planning permit.

Aside from public EV chargers, the UK now legally requires that all new residential home builds have EV charge points embedded within the building, thanks to a new law introduced June 2022. The law is expected to result in 145,000 private EV charging points being installed.

Godfrey-Cass said: "“Despite the government’s commitment to installing EV charging points, unfortunately, the wider rollout has been hampered by planning constraints,  cost of installation, need for access, and the need for resilient and highly secure two-way connectivity in locations where wired infrastructure  isn’t always readily available.

"If the government wants to make it a viable option for consumers to use electrical vehicles, they must ensure that  charging points meet the demands of electric vehicle sales. 

 “First and foremost, new charging points must meet the needs of the consumer. EV users expect a charge point to be fully operational at all  times, keep their data secure, an bill them correctly, this will generate customer loyalty, repeat visits, and hopefully new customers. To achieve  this, equipment managers and charge point operators (CPOs) need to ensure secure, resilient, and reliable connectivity that allows them to monitor  charging points effectively remotely."

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