The top 20 fastest cities in the UK to charge your electric vehicle (EV)

There are now over 480,000 electric cars on the roads in the UK roads, plus over 390,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). With this, public attention is increasingly turning to the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Admiral Car Insurance has teamed up with Zap-Map, the UK’s leading electric vehicle charge point mapping service, to reveal the towns and cities that are best served with the two quickest types of charging points, known as rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.

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The analysis has highlighted the Midlands as a hotspot for charging your electric car as quickly as possible. The five cities with the most rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Birmingham and Coventry. 

Nottingham currently enjoys a comfortable lead, with a total of 122 rapid and ultra-rapid chargers as of the end of April, over Milton Keynes with 106.

Unlike fossil fuel cars, electric vehicles can recharge almost anywhere, whether it’s at home, at work and on the public network. With extra flexibility for electric vehicles comes a the added complexity of different speeds of chargers and, therefore, different uses for them.

Electric vehicle drivers charging at home, for instance, typically use what are known as ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ devices to charge up overnight. In contrast, rapid chargers take between 20 minutes to an hour to add around 100 miles (161km) of charge. These are found at many different locations including motorway service areas, fuel forecourts, restaurants, hotels and retail car parks.

Even speedier are ultra-rapid devices, which can add more or less 100 miles (161km) of charge in around 15 minutes. These are useful for drivers undertaking longer journeys and tend to be found in groups of between six and ten. The analysis saw Birmingham comes out on top in this respect, with 39 high-powered ultra-rapid chargers.

As the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars draws ever nearer, and the number of electric vehicle owners continues to rise, Admiral’s data shows the growing popularity of electric vehicles. They had 79 percent more pure-electric vehicles (and 20 percent more hybrid vehicles) being insured in 2022 compared with 2021.

The number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers have also shown promising growth in recent years. While there were just 973 rapid and ultra-rapid devices at the end of 2016, by the end of April 2022 the UK had over 5,750 rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers. This is more than a 490 percent increase. 

Between April 2021 and April 2022, the UK has seen a 74 percent increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices, the quickest available. With this in mind, Admiral has partnered with Zap-Map to help drivers find the location of the country’s fastest charging points with their electric vehicle charging map. 

This is reassuring for those making or thinking of making the transition to electric vehicles that they will be able to charge quickly and easily. It also helps to reduce range anxiety and the need for cars with huge ranges. 

Clare Egan, Admiral Head of Motor Product, said: “The 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars is fast approaching. As Admiral’s own insurance data shows, electric cars are only growing in popularity so public attention should increasingly turn to the UK’s EV charging network.

“While most EVs will charge overnight at home, many people driving longer distances will need to charge up as quickly as possible. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Zap-Map to find the speediest cities to charge your car.

“Those of us making cross-country trips this summer now know that the Midlands is a great place to recharge the battery and grab a quick coffee before getting back on the road for a well-deserved break.”

Melanie Shufflebotham, Zap-Map COO and co-founder, said: “As the number of pure-electric cars on the road approaches half a million, a robust charging network is critical. Over the past few years there has been huge investment in high-powered chargers and it’s great to see many cities across the UK having a strong provision.

“There are of course a range of different needs when it comes to charging an EV, but continued investment in high-powered chargers for longer journeys is crucial as the number of EVs on the road continues to grow at pace. Nottingham may well be leading the charge in this area right now, but it will certainly be interesting to see which city takes the top spot in two years’ time.”

Device Count
TownRapidUltra-RapidGrand Total
Milton Keynes1006106
Newcastle upon Tyne31233
Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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