Currently reading: New law to make EV charging network 99% reliable
Government moves to tackle the varying reliability of the UK’s charging network

The UK’s electric vehicle rapid charging network will be required to have a 99% reliability rate under new laws coming in later this year.

This, ministers hope, will eradicate range anxiety and create a “world-class” charging grid. The legislation also includes a £1.6 billion investment in 300,000 new charge points across the country, which, it says, would be five times as many traditional fuel pumps currently in operation. These will be operational by 2030 and spread across the country, it promises.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson told Autocar: “We’ve committed £1.6bn to support the rollout of charge points across the UK and, as part of our recently published EV Infrastructure Strategy, we will set new legal requirements to improve reliability at public charge points.”

They added that accessibility of charging devices is also a priority: “We recently consulted on ensuring that charge points are inclusively designed and will publish our response later this year.”  

Yesterday, it was revealed that the number of EV public chargers in the UK has risen by 33%, with 30,290 now in operation. This data, sourced by mapping provider Zap Map and published by the DfT, showed that around 7500 new devices have been installed in the past year - 1915 in the past three months alone.

Broken down, the figures show that London has the most chargers, with 111 per 100,000 people. The least in the UK was found to be the entire country of Northern Ireland, which has just 18 per 100,000. On average across the UK, there are 45 public chargers per 100,000 people.

It also found what percentage of those were rapid chargers, with Scotland recording 13.6 per 100,000, and Northern Ireland just 1.3. On a more local level, the north-west of England has 5.9 per 100,000, while the north-east has 9.4.

EV uptake is expected to continue rising exponentially as the 2030 ban on new ICE car sales looms, and the figures show the government, as well as well as charging point companies, are reacting to this: at this point in 2015, there were only around 2000 devices in operation, rising to 10,000 in 2018.

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fenixuk 23 April 2022
What size battery does that BMW have ? My home charger can charge my car fully in just over 5 hours so unless it's a 400kwh battery I suspect something is wrong.

I'm really not that bothered about charging speed out and about. I can leave my house with a full charge every day if I have to and topping up away from home is only a few times per year. If I go for a wee and a coffee I'm just about ready to go even on the charge speeds we have now.

fenixuk 23 April 2022
Is 99% achievable ? How is it judged ? How is it going to be enforced ?
I think we need a bit more information.
Tbh I'm surprised they didn't just say world beating and leave it at that.
Symanski 23 April 2022

I'd like to see 99% honestly in government instead of the 1% that Boris can't even achieve.


What you need is the charge network to be fast, not just reliable.   Talking with an EV owner he said fast was the key, if you can recharge in minutes you can be on your way quickly.   Enough time for you to do a comfort break and be ready to go again.


He cited an exammple, a 350kW charge station, only to discover since he's new to EV that was shared across 6 points.   He peaked at 158kW, his car can take over 200kW, but when someone else plugged in to the 6th point again that dropped to 128kW.


I had a look around to see what of the charging stations around me could charge this quickly, the answer was none.   And home chargers are at 7kW.   Looking at Harry's Garage video on this subject and the BMW iX he had would take 56 hours to fully charge on a home charger.   Not really viable, is it?


And the low cost tariffs where electricity is cheaper at home at night for EV use, that's 7kW for about 5 hours reduced cost.   It's simply not powerful enough.


bol 23 April 2022

I agree that Johnson is full of shit, but I think you're wrong about home charging speeds. Don't confuse the time it takes to charge on a 3 pin plug with 7kW wall boxes. I charge at about 30mph overnight, so my four hours at 7.5p a kW will take me 120 miles. If I needed to replenish 300 miles of range overnight it would be entirely possible, if a bit more expensive.  

And on a rapid, 120kW is plenty, as long as there are enough chargers to go round. 

russ13b 23 April 2022

BMW iX xD50M has a 105.2KWh battery, and a range of 380 miles, which is 3.6 miles per KWh. Charging at 7KWh for 5 hours would give you 126 miles of range. 105.2KWh capacity charging from 1% to 100% at a rate of 7KWh gives you 15 hours. Charging from 1% to 100% at the supposedly hopeless rate of 128KW will take 54 minutes, 38 minutes from as more realistic 30%, which isn't really terrible; every 280 miles (4 hours at 70mph) you have to stop for 40 minutes at the most, or 20 minutes every 2 hours. Harry's maths is off; for it to take 56 hours the charging rate would have to be just over 2KW, 56 hours at 7KW requires roughly 390KWh battery capacity, so it could be that he's accidentally used the range figure instead of battery capacity when calculating the charge time, or is talking about using a wall socket and extension cable.

Symanski 23 April 2022

Bol and Russ,


I've gone back to the Harry's Garage video and found the bit.   13:50 in to his video on the iX if you're interested.


Yes, I got a couple of details wrong, sorry.   On a household plug it's quoted at working at 2.3kW and takes 54 hours to charge.   On a wall charger at 7.4kW, 16 hours.


Sorry I got the figures wrong and are happy to be corrected and post a correction.


fenixuk 23 April 2022

Who is buying a flash car like that - without forking out a few hundred for the charger ?   

My car's battery rarely gets charged to 100%. Unless I'm doing a really long journey why would you ? 

EVs just need a different mindset to the ICE car generation. 

Symanski 24 April 2022
fenixuk wrote:

Who is buying a flash car like that - without forking out a few hundred for the charger ?   

My car's battery rarely gets charged to 100%. Unless I'm doing a really long journey why would you ? 

EVs just need a different mindset to the ICE car generation. 


I don't disagree with you, and I've said that for most people the range in an EV is more than adequate. But sometimes we need a longer range, and what's key to that is being able to recharge.


Talking with an EV owner, and he's realising it needs a different mindset as you say, and part of that realisation is that the charge network needs to have faster chargers.   For that he's had a 15kW charger installed at his work, which he can do because he can access a higher power source than he can on a domestic supply.


And that really is the point I'm making in my posts.   Charging fast is key to EV future (as well as next generation battery technology that will shrink batteries to a tenth of their current size, and hopefully cost too).


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