Current Status of the Public EV Charging Network in the UK
There are a variety of options when it comes charging an electric vehicle, whether it’s charging at home, at work or using public networks. In this post, we take a closer look at the current public charging network, provide clear insight into its accessibility and usability, as well as an overview of current public charging providers in the UK.
UK Electric Vehicle Public Charging Network | Key Statistics
As of 1 October 2022, there were 34,637 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK, within which¹:
- 6,395 were rated “rapid” devices or above
- 19,746 were rated “fast” chargers
- 17,179 were designated as “destination” chargers, this represents 50% of all charging devices
- 11,218 were designated as “on street” chargers, this represents 32% of all charging devices
Compared to 1 July 2022:
- total installed devices increased by 2,626, an increase of 8%
- rapid charging or above devices increased by 421, an increase of 7%
- there was an increase in total charging devices and those rated rapid or above in all regions of the UK, except the North East
Change in public charging devices, per region between July to September 2022; percentage and (number of devices).
Map 1 = Total Device
Map 2 = Rapid charging+
As Map 1 above shows, all regions across the UK apart from North East saw an increase in total charging devices between July and September 2022. The West Midlands saw the largest increase at 16.7% and Northern Ireland the smallest incase, at just 4.3%.
London had the greatest increase in absolute number of devices at 546 devices, contributing to 20% of the increase in devices across the UK in this period. After having the largest increase in the previous quarter (14.2% from April to July 2022), North East saw a decrease in the number of chargepoints by 1.1%, this represents a decrease of 13 devices.
Map 2 shows that rapid charging or above devices have increased in every region apart from North East in the UK. North West had the largest percentage increase in rapid charging or above devices at 12.6%, corresponding to an increase of 62 rapid charging or above devices.
Total and rapid or above public charging devices per 100,000 of population by UK region 01 October 2022. Source: gov.uk
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the UK is constantly developing. According to Zap-Map, at the end of September 2022, there were 34,680 EV charging points across the UK — in 20,888 locations. That’s 35% more charging points than in September 2021.
Zap-Map’s live map allows you to find which public EV charging networks cover your area — you can also use the network filter to select networks from the list provided.
How is the UK EV charging network growing over time?
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of public EV charge points across the UK. Between the end of 2016 and 2021, the network grew from 6,500 to over 28,000 charge points! Between 2020 and the end of 2021 alone, almost 7,500 charge points were added to the UK network, representing a growth of 36%.
Source: Zap-Map database. Updated: September 2022.
It’s worth noting that the graph above focuses solely on the number of charging devices available, rather than their capacity to deliver electricity. Therefore, this hides the fact that charging points with different power ratings provide a significant difference in capacity. For example, although rapid and ultra-rapid chargers account for only 20% of total charging points, they make up around 60% of total capacity!
Which areas in the UK have the most charge points?
When taking into account all types of charging devices, Greater London has the highest number with 11,044. This is followed by the South-East with 4,533 and Scotland with 3,304.
Source: Zap-Map database. Total number of charging points: 34,860. Updated: September 2022.
Zap-Map — an app providing a UK-wide map of electric car charging points — have put together a comprehensive table of the UK’s main EV charging networks and links to in-depth network guides.
EV charging points are usually defined by the power (in kW) they can produce and therefore what speed they are capable of charging an EV. Most EVs are equipped with two or more cables so that you can use chargers with different connector outlets.
There are three main EV charging speeds:
- Slow charging (up to 3 kW) which will charge an EV in 6-12 hours overnight.
- Fast charging (7-22 kW) which can fully recharge some EVs in 3-4 hours.
- Rapid charging (typically 50 kW DC or 43 kW AC). These can provide a charge to 80% in around 30-50 minutes – depending on the EV’s battery and charging set-up.
Further development of charge points means there’s now also a sub-set of rapid charging – ultra-rapid. These charging units can provide 100+ kW, and up to 350 kW.
Split into three categories (Rapid, Destination and On-street & Community networks), Zap-Map provides details of the network operator, cross-network agreements, charger locations and any fees that might apply.
Check the list out here.
The cost of using a public charge point to charge your EV at a public charge point depends on the charge point network and the location of charge points. Many local authorities offer a pay per session approach to on-street chargers. If you have access to a network subscription, these can be free to use.
Public charge point costs also vary depending on the power rating and whether it’s slow (lamppost charging), fast (Car parks) or Rapid (Motorway service stations).
To find the cost to charge an EV on a public charge point, you can use Zap-Map’s Public Charging Calculator which calculates the charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. You can also personalise the results for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.
More on EV Charging
We know that charging an EV can come with lots of questions, so to help you out we’ve put together some useful guides from the basics of how to charge an electric car to public charging etiquette. You can also check out our latest blog post on charging an EV at home without a driveway, or take a look at our in-depth review of NewMotion’s charging study about EV charging, home charging, and electric vehicle adoption.