The number of public electric vehicle charging devices in the UK has passed 18,000, according to the latest figures published by the Department for Transport using data from Zap-Map.
The overall number is up 11% in the year to date as of 1 July 2020, and since 2015, the number of public charging devices has grown fivefold. The DfT said Zap-Map’s data does not indicate how many cars each device can charge, so the UK’s public charging capability is higher in terms of number of plug-in vehicles that can be charged at the same time.
In terms of the regions, London has the best allocation by population, with 57 charging devices per 100,000 people, compared with the UK average of 27. Others well above average include Scotland (35 per 100,000 people) and the North East (30 per 100,000), while at the other end of the scale, Northern Ireland has just 16 per 100,0000 people, one behind the regions of Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands.
Scotland is well clear at the top of the table for public rapid charging, with its 8.9 devices per 100,000 population comparing with and heavily distorting the national average of 4.8. The South East is on 5.8, with the South West and London the only other two regions to match the national average, while Northern Ireland can only offer 1.0 rapid-charge devices per 100,000 population, and Wales 2.7, with the East of England third-worse at 3.4 per 100,000 people.
“There is uneven geographical distribution of charging devices within the UK,” said the DfT report. “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.”