UK Department of Transport releases latest electric vehicle (EV) charging device statistics

The Department of Transport has released the latest electric vehicle (EV) charging device statistics in the UK. As of January 2023, there were 37,055 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK. 

This is positive news but there is a need to speed up infrastructure installation to meet the needs of the rapidly growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the UK. A breakdown of this and all the latest information surrounding charging infrastructure can be found below. 

Tom Hurst, UK Lead at Fastned, said: “Drivers will be pleased that more charging options are arriving each day but we must go further. A vital way to accelerate the transition is through reform of the planning permissions process for charging stations.

“Charge point operators (CPOs) are ready to invest millions in the UK but cumbersome regulations are slowing the rollout down and providing a worse charging experience for drivers. 

“With up to 24 months between initial conversations and opening a new site, stations can only open as quickly as local councils and planning officers allow.

“That means now is the opportune moment for the UK to trial a “trusted provider status” programme, to reward CPOs who build quality sites and connect local communities up and down the UK.”

HEADLINE EV CHARGING DEVICE FIGURES IN THE UK 

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As of 1 January 2023, there were 37,055 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK, within which:

Charging Speed:

  • 6,887 were rated “rapid” devices or above, this represents 19% of all charging devices
  • 21,255 were rated “fast” chargers, this represents 57% of all charging devices

Location:

  • 18,321 were designated as “destination” chargers, this represents 49% of all charging devices
  • 11,996 were designated as “on street” chargers, this represents 32% of all charging devices

Compared to 1 October 2022:

  • total installed devices increased by 2,418, an increase of 7%
  • rapid charging or above devices increased by 492, an increase of 8%
  • there was an increase in total charging devices and those rated rapid or above in all regions of the UK

CHARGING DEVICE SPEED DEFINITION IN KILOWATTS (KW)

Total Devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds, including: slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid devices. Rapid charging or above devices are those whose fastest connector is rated at 25kW and above and includes chargepoints classified as either rapid or ultra-rapid.

  • Slow Charging Devices represents 3 kilowatts (kW) to 6 kW
  • Fast Charging Devices represents 7kW to 22kW
  • Rapid Charging Devices represents 25kW to 100kW
  • Ultra Rapid Charging Devices represents 100kW plus

UK PUBLIC CHARGING DEVICES

Since 1 January 2022 the number of installed public devices has increased by 8,680, a 31% increase. The number of rapid charging or above devices increased by 34%, an additional 1,731 public devices installed.

Table EVCD_01a and Table EVCD_01b provide a breakdown of public charging devices in each local authority in the UK whilst Table EVCD_02a shows the change in the number of devices since 2015. These tables are published alongside this report.

Chart 1: Installed UK public charging devices, midnight, 1 of month, since 2015 (table EVCD_02)

Chart 2: UK public rapid charging or above devices, midnight, 1 of month, since 2015 (table EVCD_02)



SPEED OF CHARGING DEVICES

Chart 3: Public charging devices by charging speed, since 1 January 2022 (table EVCD_02b)

Chart 3 compares the relative growth in charging devices in all speed categories seen across 2022. Proportionately, the largest increase in installations was within the ultra-rapid device category, which increased by 10% in the last quarter (albeit from a lower base than other categories), accounting for 211 charging devices. Ultra-rapid charging devices are still the smallest overall category with 2,295 devices.

Proportionately, the smallest increase in charging devices installations was in the slow charging devices categories, with an increase of 5% or 417 charging devices. Fast charging devices are still the most common category to be publicly installed, growing by 8% or 1,509 devices.

LOCATION OF CHARGING DEVICES

Chart 4: Public charging devices by destination of charging device 1 January 2023 (table EVCD_03)

Chart 4 shows the most common location category for charging devices is “destination” with 18,321 charging devices or approximately half of all publicly available charging devices. “On street” charging devices is the second largest category accounting for 32% of charging devices or 11,996. Further information can be found in Annex B.

ChargePoint location categories are defined based on both the physical/type of facility they are located in and who can access this but also the type of charging service they are designed to deliver:

  • On Street: Charging devices located on residential streets only.
  • En-route: Charging devices located for charging to continue a journey. Located in motorway service areas, service stations, electric forecourts and ferry terminals. Additionally Rapid or Ultra-Rapid devices in hotels, restaurants and attractions.
  • Destination: Charging devices located at the end of an Electric Vehicle journey or where a driver may typically stop for an extended period of time. Consists of both Rapid or Ultra-Rapid and Fast or Slow devices located in retail car parks, car parks, leisure, education areas and transport (except ferries); in addition Fast or Slow devices located at hotels and restaurants.
  • Other: Charging devices which are semi-public with some level of access restrictions such as workplace car parks and dealership forecourts.

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF CHARGING DEVICES

There is an uneven geographical distribution of charging devices within the UK. Some UK local authorities have bid for UK Government funding for charging devices, and others have not. Most of the provision of this infrastructure has been market-led, with individual charging networks and other businesses (such as hotels) choosing where to install devices.

Chart 5: Public charging devices per 100,000 of population by UK country and region: 1 January 2023 (table ECVD_01a)

Chart 6: Public rapid charging or above devices per 100,000 of population by UK country and region: 1 January 2023 (table ECVD_01b

Chart 5 and Map 1 show that London and Scotland had the highest level of charging provision per 100,000 of population, with 131 and 69 devices per 100,000 respectively. In comparison, the average provision in the UK was 55 per 100,000.

Northern Ireland had the lowest level of charging device provision in the UK, with 19 devices per 100,000, followed by the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber with 31 and 36 devices per 100,000 respectively.

Chart 6 and Map 2 indicate that Scotland had the highest rate of rapid device provision of 17.3 rapid or quicker devices per 100,000, whilst the average provision in the UK was 10.3 per 100,000. Rapid or quicker device provision was lowest for Northern Ireland with 1.4 rapid or quicker devices per 100,000. North West and East of England were the second and third lowest regions with 8.3 and 8.9 rapid or quicker devices per 100,000 respectively.

An interactive map of this data is available.

Maps 1 and 2: Total and rapid or above public charging devices per 100,000 of population by UK region 1 January 2023

CHANGE IN PUBLIC CHARGING DEVICES

Maps 3 and 4: Change in public charging devices, per region between October and December 2022; percentage and (number of devices)

As Map 3 shows all regions across the UK saw an increase in total charging devices between October and December 2022. Wales had the greatest increase at 17.3%, whilst East Midlands had the smallest increase at 3.3%. London had the greatest increase in absolute number of devices at 493 devices, closely followed by Scotland at 486 devices.

The number of available devices can fluctuate for a range of reasons. Increases likely reflect the installation of new devices, whilst owners and operators can choose to temporarily or permanently decommission or replace devices. 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 is not held by Department for Transport.

Map 4 shows that rapid charging or above devices have increased in every region in the UK. The smallest percentage increase in the number of rapid charging or above devices was South East at 3.3%. Wales had the largest percentage increase in rapid charging or above devices at 26.9%, corresponding to an increase of 60 rapid charging or above devices.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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