There are 9,300 electric vehicle (EV) charging locations across the UK, compared to 8,400 fuel stations. The boost in UK charging points reflects an acceleration in the adoption of electric cars amongst UK motorists.
In less than a century since Britain’s first fuel station opened – November 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire – the number of forecourts has peaked, declined and been overtaken by charging stations designed for electric cars, not combustion-powered.
Almost 80% of UK petrol stations have closed since 1970, whilst the number of electric vehicle charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 9,000 in August 2019.
Of these locations, more than 1600 provide rapid charging, and can recharge a typical EV battery to around 80% in under an hour.
According to Zap-Map, two new rapid charge devices came online every day in the last month. Almost all UK motorway service stations have charging stations installed, the majority of which provide a rapid charge option.
Transport for London has installed more than 1,000 EV charge points in the last year alone, yet supply of conventional fuel within the capital is becoming scarcer. Central London has nearly half as many petrol stations per car as the Scottish Highlands; only four remain within the congestion-charge zone. One of the country’s oldest forecourts, the Bloomsbury Service Station, which had been in operation since 1926, was closed in 2008.
The introduction of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in April 2019, has led to increasing numbers of London drivers looking to zero-emission solutions for their commuter or commercial transport needs.
Most electric vehicle owners only need to charge at home however, so the UK government is looking to further support EV adoption, recently announcing a proposal for the installation of charge points for EVs in all new housing.5
In August 2019, compared to the previous year, demand for battery electric vehicles increased 158.1%, resulting in a 1.4% market share, the highest monthly market share on record.