The UK now has 30,000 EV charging connectors — but there’s a long way to go

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The United Kingdom‘s electric vehicle charging network continues to grow.

There are now more than 30,000 EV charging connectors located across the nation, according to a tweet from UK-based online vehicle charging point locator Zap-Map.

As of today, there are now 30,140 connectors spread across 10,753 locations, listed on Zap-Map.

Zap-Map stats for UK EV charging network, January 24

This means, on average, that there are just under two connectors per device, and between one and two devices per location.

[Read: UK power grid won’t handle popularity of electric cars, say service operators]

Trends show the recent growth in the UK EV charging network, particularly over the past 3 years, is a result of fast, rapid, and ultra-rapid charge points being installed.

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Yearly growth by connector type, 2011-2019

But really, the important takeaway here is that with more connectors, there’s wider support for a range of EVs and charging standards.

The rise in rapid and ultra-rapid connectors is good news, as it’s showing the UK is moving toward supporting newer types of fast-charging electric vehicles which can do a zero to 80 percent charge in minutes rather than hours.

Indeed, earlier this week the UK was named as one of Europe’s leaders in EV charging infrastructure, Fleetworld reported. According to research by new energy consultancy Delta-EE, there is a charging connector for every nine EVs on the roads in Britain.

Late last year, carmaker Nissan published figures which showed the UK had more EV charging locations than gasoline filling stations. As of August 2019, it said there were 8,396 filling stations and more than 9,000 EV charging locations.

This isn’t exactly a fair comparison as a filling station might be able to service tens of cars at a time, while EV charging locations have an average of around 3 connectors per location.

Gasoline vehicles also take just minutes to fill, compared to the many minutes or hours required for an EV to fully charge. When driving an EV it pays to be able to top-up your charge whenever possible. More charge points are needed.

Earlier this month, operators of UK motorway service stations spoke out against the state of the power grid when trying to plan and install EV charging points.

“It feels like our power network at times is not fit for purpose to serve this massive charging need that is coming,” RoadChef chairman Simon Turl told the FT.

Whilst the growth is positive news, the UK can still do a lot more to support EV drivers.

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