Currently reading: Number of public EV chargers in UK rises by 37%
Various companies installed 7600 new EV chargers across the nation last year

The number of public EV chargers in the United Kingdom rose 37% last year, government data has revealed – but there are huge regional differences in the network.

The latest Department for Transport (DfT) data is for 1 January 2022 and was drawn from charger-mapping firm Zap-Map.

There were 28,375 public EV chargers available and operational in the UK on that date, which is 7600 more than on 1 January 2021. It also represents a rise of 9% from the previous DfT survey at the start of October 2021.

Of that total, 5156 were rapid chargers, which are defined as being capable of charging at rates of 25kW or more. That represents a 33% year-on-year increase.

Therefore there are now 42 chargers and 7.7 rapid chargers for every 100,000 people in the UK – a ratio that will need to grow dramatically in the lead-up to the ban on all new ICE cars and vans by 2035. 

The DfT has also highlighted the huge - and growing - geographical disparity between regions in the UK.

In terms of public chargers, London has 102 for every 100,000 people, which is nearly double any other region in the UK.

Scotland meanwhile has 52 chargers for every 100,000 people, ahead of the South East (39), North East (36), South West (32) and Wales (33). 

Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of chargers, with just 18 for every 100,000 people. The lowest region in England is the North West (24), just behind Yorkshire and the Humber (26).

Scotland is well ahead of the rest of the UK when it comes to rapid chargers, with 12.9 for every 100,000 people. The North East and South East both have 8.6, ahead of London (8.0), the South West (7.9) and Wales (5.6). Northern Ireland lags even further behind the UK in rapid charger provision, with just 1.2 units per 100,000 people.

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That disparity between regions increased during 2021: while the number of chargers in London rose 16.4%, there was an increase of just 3.9% in Northern Ireland.

The DfT has suggested that this disparity in regions is because the provision of public charging infrastructure has so far been market-led, driven by charging networks and businesses. But it also likely reflects differing regional incentives to push EV use and encourage EV charger provision.

The DfT did highlight some limitations to the Zap-Map data: the firm counts only charging devices, which doesn't account for devices capable of charging multiple EVs simultaneously.

Zap-Map’s data includes around 95% of public charging devices, but the government says there's no more accurate way of charting the other units.

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HiPo 289 20 January 2022

Like most EV users, I know of public chargers that don't appear on Zap Map, so the mention that this research only recognises 95% of public chargers makes sense.  Re taxi only chargers: My advice is just use them anyway.  It is better to use them than leave them empty.  I've never been challenged when I've done this, despite my vehicle looking very unlike a taxi.  If these chargers get more use, more will be installed.

Deputy 20 January 2022

But then we have stupid local councils!  West Yorkshire and ENGIE have rolled out pairs of chargers all over the place.  Great idea. But, one of each pair is labelled TAXIs only and a fine if you use it.  In nearly 2 years I have NEVER seen a taxi charging at any of them - so capacity and revenue is halved.  Muppets, I've asked for data on how many TAXI charges have been done.  I'm still waiting....

Nickktod 20 January 2022

I hope you did it as a FOI request so you can report them to the ICO for enforcement action.

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