Number of places to charge electric vehicles now outnumbers petrol stations

16 August 2019

There are 9,300 electric vehicle charging locations in the UK compared to 8,400 petrol stations.


There are now nearly 1,000 more points for electric car owners to charge their vehicles in the UK than there are petrol stations, new data shows.

The UK has 9,300 electric vehicle charging locations compared to 8,400 petrol stations, according to figures from the Energy Institute and Zap-Map.

It is less than a century since Britain’s first fuel station opened in 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

In recent decades the number of petrol stations has been in a steady decline, with almost 80% closing since 1970.

For owners of electric vehicles there are now more than 1,600 locations which provide rapid charging, which can recharge a battery to around 80% in under an hour.

The news comes after the government announced it was doubling funding for on-street electric car charging with an additional £2.5 million.

This will allow local authorities to install more than 1,000 new charge points along the nation’s roads.

The charge points can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts, helping people access charging infrastructure near their homes when they don’t have off-street parking.

Due to their lower running costs and concerns about climate change electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows 14,200 pure electric new cars were bought during the first seven months this year, up 71% from the same period in 2018.

Lack of infrastructure across the UK has hampered the uptake of electric vehicles. However, many experts now believe that this is about to change.

Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director at Nissan Motor GB, says consumers are now ready for the switch.

He says: “Many consumers are saying their next car will be electric.

“We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety with electric vehicles now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs.

"The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of electric vehicles on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”

A new report from Close Brothers has found two in five drivers are considering an electric vehicle as their next car – an increase of 7.5 million drivers in the past two years.

Seán Kemple, director of sales at Close Brothers, says 2019 will be remembered as the year when electric vehicles “went mainstream”.

He says: “While sales are still relatively low in real terms, the speed of growth is accelerating, and it looks like we’re months, not years, from the tipping point.”

Mr Kemple says consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles and manufacturers are responding to this demand.

“Education is needed to help customers overcome their concerns about range, charging time and costs, and this sits with the government and manufacturers alike.

"The government should also steer its focus towards developing the infrastructure needed to meet the needs of rising demand, from charging points outside of the big cities to solutions for customers with on-street parking.”



Apples to oranges

If you're going to make this sort of comparison, shouldn't you be counting petrol *pumps* against charging points?

And also take into account how many cars can use each during, say, a 24 hr period?

Like for like

It's nice to know the numbers are improving but, just to be clear.., is this article comparing numbers of petrol stations (not pumps) to the number of plug in sockets (as opposed to the number of locations where there are multiple charge points?)
Also what is the average charge time compared to fill time that a pump/charge point is going to be unavailable?

Charging points

What does 9300 charging locations mean? Is that spaces for 9300 cars or are there, like garages, multiple points at each location? I would guess that the average number of petrol filling points at each garage is 6. That makes for about 50000 petrol filling points. What is the comparable number of charging points?
Also, it takes about 10 minutes to fill up with petrol but an hour for an electric car. So each petrol point can deal with 6 times more vehicles than a charging point in the same space of time. This means that garages can service 300000 vehicles an hour. What is the comparable number of vehicles that charging points can service?
That’s the problem with statistics, the can be made to tell any story you like if you don’t take an holistic view.

places to charge electric vehicles now outnumbers petrol station

How do the electric charging points compare to the number of fuel pumps available, bearing in mind that refuelling takes around 15 minutes per vehicle as opposed to around 1 hour for a fast charge.
This article Implies that electric charging points are on a par with fuel pumps but they’re not there yet! Figures can be manipulated to show things in a different way to reality at times.

Number of places to charge electric vehicles now outnumbers petr

A car stays about 5 minutes in a petrol station compared to 30 mins minimum at a charging station therefore you still need 6 x more charging points or 54,000 to do a comparisson

Electric charging points

Well I would not get too excited about this as :
1 There are 5 different charging systems with different cards needed to use them. so each type has a limited number of charging points, so spread over the whole of the UK it's not many of each.
2 Every petrol station has more than one pump so there is still a vast difference in the number of charging points.
3 If we get many more electric cars on the roads the UK will not be able to generate enough electricity to charge them all during the winter. Even a small country likr the Netherlands would require 8 times as many generating stations if all car owners bought an electric car.
4 We are merely moving the pollution from the car to the generating station, plus where do we dispose of the nasty lithium batteries after their 8 to 10 year life?
It seems to me we are trying to rush headlong into an ill thought out situation which is not a long term answer to vehicle pollution - not to mention that the biggest polluters are cruise liners in increasing numbers, other ships and aircraft, which make road vehicle pollution look insignificant.

Electric Vehicle charging

John You seem to be picking holes in the story, and while it's true that we will need many more charging points than petrol pumps, the increase is still good news.
1: As of next year all rapid points, by law have to accept standard bank cards (although I agree right now it's a real pain having a dozen or more separate charging schemes you could sign up to)
2: Agree with you, but there are hundreds of charge points going in every month
3: the UK is blessed with extensive renewable wind energy resources, and in the future wave and tidal may also become significant sources of power, plus the new nuclear stations, which are also a low carbon electricity source
4: A combined cycle gas power plant is much more efficient than any car engine, and there is the possibility to capture most of the carbon from combustion but there are no technologies on the horizon to do this for a fossil fuelled car. Lithium batteries are not "nasty" and are being used in less weight sensitive applications for domestic or industrial power storage after their useful traction life is over. Today, a consumer can buy off peak power for 4p/kWh, and if stored in a 13kWh battery ( first gen Nissan leaf down to 50% capacity) would enable most households to avoid using peak price electricity (at best 12p/kWh). When batteries are fully worn out they can and will be recycled for the valuable lithium, cobalt and other constituents.
I have recently taken the electric plunge, and aside from the need to charge often, it drives like a dream compared to my state-of-the-art diesel. Smooth, quiet, quick, comfortable and very economical. Currently just not ideal for journeys of over 200 miles, where the diesel comes into it's own. But more charging points will fix this.
If the future of motoring is electric, it's going to be very good indeed for drivers.
Currently in the UK, about 2% of carbon emissions are from aircraft, less from cruise liners, and both are dwarfed by road transport emissions.

Add new comment