According to an analysis of official figures, the Orkney Islands have just a few hundred EV owners but the second highest concentration of fast EV chargers in the UK.
Although the islands only have 22,000 residents, electric car owners already have access to 15 public fast-charging stations on the inhabited islands, according to data from the Ministry of Transport.
In comparison, Leicester, which has a population of over 350,000 and nearly 2,500 EV drivers, has just three fast chargers available.
Such a lack of consistency will frustrate EV owners, particularly those who live in drive-off homes and rely on the availability of public devices, and makes it difficult for the government to convince motorists who have not yet switched over considering an electric vehicle.
Britain’s unequal distribution of electric vehicle chargers exposed: Orkneys has more public fast charging stations for electric cars than Leicester, new analysis reveals (Image: Electric car charging station in Stromness, Orkney Islands)
LeaseLoco, the car leasing comparison site that analyzed DfT figures on the number of public charging stations in July, highlighted the huge disparity in available charging infrastructure, noting that driving around the Orkney mainland takes only around 45 minutes . Still, there is a higher density of fast chargers here than almost anywhere else in the UK.
The City of London (81.2 devices per 100,000 people) is the only local authority with a higher density of fast chargers than Orkneys (66.5 devices per 100,000 people), it said.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the huge disparity in the spread of fast and ultra-fast chargers across the UK charging network.
Despite having a population of just 22,000, electric car owners already have access to 15 public fast-charging stations across the inhabited islands, Department for Transport data shows (pictured one of two charging stations at Ferry Road car park in the Orkney Islands).
The DfT’s own data shows disparity in the availability of fast chargers across the country, with Wales and the North West of England being underserved compared to the rest of the UK
Data from July shows that there are only 8,461 public fast chargers (25kW to 99kW) and ultra fast chargers (100kW and above) across the UK as the number of chargers gradually increases
There are currently just 8,461 public fast chargers (25kW to 99kW) and ultra fast chargers (100kW and above) across the UK, according to DfT data provided by EV charging station Zap-Map.
With the fastest method, the battery of an electric vehicle can be charged from 20 to 80 percent in about half an hour.
Experts in the EV sector say these are the devices most needed across the country to enable hassle-free long-distance EV journeys without the inconvenience of waiting hours to charge.
DfT data shows that outside of London, Milton Keynes (151) has more fast chargers than any other city in the UK.
Birmingham is second with 141 devices.
However, if you compare the volume with other major cities and densely populated postcodes, the unequal distribution of charging points becomes clear.
Liverpool, for example, only has 23 fast charging stations. These make up less than six percent of all public devices in the city.
Harlow in Essex, home to over 93,000 people, has no fast chargers at all.
Cities and metropolitan areas with the most – and the fewest – fast chargers
THE FASTEST CHARGERS
1. Milton Keynes: 151
3 Leeds: 111
4. Wakefield: 80
5 Edinburgh: 79
FEW FAST CHARGERS
1 Harlow: 0
2. Wake up: 2
=3. Leicester: 3rd
=3. Blackpool: 3rd
=3. Stevenage: 3
Source: LeaseLoco analysis of July DfT data
Official government figures show that there are fewer fast and ultra-fast chargers than slower devices across the UK
|Community||Number of fast chargers for electric vehicles||Total number of electric vehicle chargers||% Fast chargers on all electric vehicle chargers|
|Kensington and Chelsea||5||696||0.7|
|Windsor & Maidenhead||3||103||2.9|
|Richmond upon Thames||11||344||3.2|
|Source: Source: LeaseLoco analysis of July DfT data|
Of all local authorities in the UK, almost 50 per cent have fewer than one in four fast or ultra-fast chargers.
Of the municipalities with more than 10 public fast charging stations, Thurrock has the highest availability. Incredibly, three quarters (75 percent) of today’s network consists of fast and ultra-fast devices.
Another 32 municipalities offer at least 50 percent high-speed devices in their charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Of all regions, Wales has made the most progress in expanding its fast charging network, with installations increasing by 78 per cent over the past 12 months.
London (24 percent) and the North East (25 percent) have made the slowest progress in expanding their fast charging availability over the past year.
Public fast and ultra-fast chargers offer the highest speeds available on the entire public network. You can charge an electric vehicle battery from 20% to 80% in about half an hour
|region||Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – July 2022||Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – July 2023||Charging points for electric vehicles per 100,000 inhabitants||% increase in charging points|
|Yorkshire & Humber||491||697||12.7||42|
|East of England||521||736||11.6||41.3|
|Source: Source: LeaseLoco analysis of July DfT data|
John Wilmot, managing director of LeaseLoco, says the uneven spread of fast chargers is proof of why range anxiety is no longer the top concern for EV drivers, but charging anxiety.
“The lack of fast chargers across the UK is a real concern for electric car owners,” explains John.
“There is an urgent need for fast chargers, especially on motorways, otherwise EV owners will face long waiting times when charging their car on the go.”
“There seems to be a lack of cohesion in the adoption of fast chargers. And the countrywide differences between regions when it comes to fast charging are large.
“The inconsistency of coverage will frustrate those drivers who rely on the public charging network.”
Mr Wilmot adds that the unequal distribution of fast devices “will significantly complicate the government’s task of convincing the public to switch to electronic devices early”.
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