THE UK’s EV charging infrastructure is lagging woefully behind where it needs to be with just 800 new devices being added per month, according to the latest figures published by the Department for Transport.
The DfT confirmed there were 37,055 public charging points in total on 1 January 2023, up from 34,637 devices at the start of October 2022. This equates to just 806 new chargers are being added to the public network each month – an installation rate that needs to increase to 3,130-a-month if the Government is to meet its promised target of having 300,000 devices nationwide by 2030, when the government intends to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
Last year 8,680 new chargers were installed while the number of new fully electric cars taking to the road in 2022 was 267,203.
Jon Lawes, Managing Director at Novuna Vehicle Solutions, said: “With 34% more chargers installed than the previous year, 2022 was a record-breaking year for public electric vehicle (EV) charge point installation. But the reality is, when it comes to delivering adequate EV charging infrastructure in the UK, we’ve still got a very long way to go to match demand.
“The fact remains that the UK has fewer than 38,000 public EV chargers in the ground, a feat that has taken over a ten-years to accomplish. To meet the Government’s target of 300,000 charge points by 2030, the UK will need 30,000 devices installed every year for the next seven years. That’s a tenfold increase over the previous decade. And even if we achieve this goal, the ratio of EVs to chargers will still increase to 54:1 if only half of the population is driving an EV by that time.
“Charging anxiety isn’t going away. Fundamentally, sustaining the level of EV adoption we’ve achieved to date to become more mainstream by the deadline requires a radical transformation of public charger provision if we are to successfully navigate what is already a bumpy road ahead to 2030.”
Lauren Pamma, Programme Director at the Green Finance Institute, said: “It is predicted that the UK will need up to 300,000 public charge points by 2030, and whilst this is a challenge, it is entirely possible to deliver. At the Green Finance Institute, we are helping mobilise capital in charging infrastructure, to help network operators, local authorities, and businesses accelerate the roll-out of charge points and create a network that will drive forward a thriving EV transition in the UK.
“Rather than focus solely on quantity, we must also look at the location of public chargepoints. Currently chargepoints are disproportionately grouped in affluent areas forming an unsurpassable barrier to EV ownership for consumers in different parts of the country. The key to addressing this inequality, as well as boosting the total number of public chargepoints, is to address barriers to financing. Financial products, like utilisation linked loans, will allow the crowding in of private finance and will have an enormous impact on the pace and scale at which we deploy new EV charging infrastructure.
“There is also a lot more we can do to efficiently use the chargepoints we already have. Home chargepoint sharing is a fast-growing market and will do much to increase the resilience and capacity of the UK’s charging network; unlocking EV ownership for more consumers without off-street parking at home and removing one of the main barriers to accelerating the EV transition.”