The amount of charging points located around the UK certainly varies according to the latest Department for Transport data that has been published. In Northern Ireland, the East Midlands and the Northwest drivers have the fewest public charging points available to them.
Uneven Access to Charging Points
If you live in Northern Ireland, there are just 23 charging points publicly available per 100,000 drivers. The Northwest offers only 39 charging points per hundred thousand drivers, and the third lowest, the East Midlands, with 43 charging points per hundred thousand drivers. To understand how low this is, we can look at London, which has the best public charging point provision, where they offer 152 charging points per 100,000 people. London stands out as it is by far and away the highest number on offer; in second place is Scotland, where 100,000 people are basically sharing 73 public charging points. The average provision for those living in the UK is just 66 public charging points per hundred thousand people.
If you are an electric vehicle driver, you will also understand the frustration of slow charging, and when there is a need to use a public charging point, most people will be looking for faster charging speeds of 25 kW or greater. Of the public charging points on offer in the UK, just 12.6 units per 100,000 people meet this speed. Scotland fairs better here as 19.2 of their devices per hundred thousand people meet the high-speed charging requirement. As you might expect, Ireland does not fare any better here, once more sitting in the bottom spot. Interestingly, although London has the best charging provision, it fails on speed, leaving it third from the bottom for quick or rapid charging devices.
There is Growth
Despite the seemingly dismal statistics, the number of public charging points has increased over the last three months to August. An extra 3875 were installed, and this is an increase of 10% taking public electric vehicle charging points to 44,020 overall. Of these, 814 were classed as rapid chargers, which is an increase of 11%. There are now 8461 rapid charging points equating to 19% of 44,020 total. The majority, 57%, of the chargers have been rated as fast, which means they offer 7 kW to 22 kW charging, and there are 24,918 of those in the UK.
The Department for Transport says that some of the variations in data are explainable because the availability of individual devices can fluctuate for a number of reasons. A spokesperson for the organisation pointed out that “Charging devices can also be unavailable due to faults, maintenance or other restrictions in the area where they are located, though data on the status of charging devices are not held by Department for Transport.” According to ChargeUK, which is a trade body representing 23 different companies responsible for the installation and operation of the UK electric vehicle charging points, we are still making positive forward progress. Their spokesperson said, “The rate of deployment is already ramping up in all parts of the UK, but we can go faster still,”