Statistics highlight large growth in electric vehicle charging devices

The UK Government’s latest report ‘Electric vehicle charging device statistics: April 2021’, shows a 10% increase per quarter.

The report was compiled by the Department for Transport and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and shows that in the first quarter of 2021 (January to March):

  • available devices increased by 2,015, up nearly 10% on the previous quarter (October to December 2020)
  • rapid devices increased by 379, corresponding to a quarterly growth of almost 10%
  • this is the largest absolute quarterly growth in both total and rapid devices since 2015.

And as of 1st April, 2021:

  • there were 22,790 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK
  • of the total devices available, 4,259 are rapid chargers.

Since 2015, the number of public devices has grown by 43% per year, on average. Rapid devices have increased at a much higher rate, with an average annual increase of almost 61%.

The coronavirus pandemic may have had an effect on device growth, with the increase in total and rapid devices over the last 12 months being 27% and 37% respectively.

This is a noticeable decrease in the annual growth in the preceding 12 months, with increases of 54% and 53%.

However, despite this growth, throughout the UK there is still an uneven geographical distribution of charging devices – with some local authorities having bid for funding for charging devices, while others have not.

The majority of the provision of this infrastructure has been market-led, with individual charging networks and businesses choosing where to install devices to suit their commercial needs.

London and Scotland have the highest level of charging provision per 100,000 of population, with 80 and 43 devices per 100,000 respectively.

Scotland has the highest rate of rapid device provision of 11 rapid devices per 100,000, whilst the average provision in the UK is 6.4 per 100,000.

Gill Nowell, Director, Electric Vehicle Association England, said: “As uptake of electric cars and vans continues to rise, it is imperative that roll-out of public charging infrastructure accelerates in line with demand. Whilst over 60% of households across the UK have access to off-street parking, meaning that the majority of charging can be done at home, overnight, there are swathes of the population that will need to find other charging solutions.

“The recent increases in number of public chargers are welcome, however it is concerning to note the geographical disparity in public charging. EVA England will be working with local authorities, communities, and across the EV charging ecosystem to support a strategic approach to roll-out of EV charging infrastructure to level up the playing field.”

Image: Shutterstock

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