There are now more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the UK than conventional fuel stations, according to data published by Nissan.
The Japanese car maker has revealed that as of August, there are 9199 EV charging stations across the country, compared with 8396 fuel stations.
The UK’s first fuel station was opened exactly 100 years ago at Aldermaston in Berkshire. The number of fuel stations peaked at 37,539 in 1970 but has been in steady decline since, with more than 3000 sites closing between 2000 and 2005.
EV charging sites, by contrast, are increasing in number rapidly. There were 913 in 2012 but 6699 by 2018, and more than 2000 have been installed so far this year. The current figure of 9199 includes more than 1600 rapid-charging points.
Nissan’s data, based on information from the Energy Institute and Zap Map, shows a notable change in London: while there are now only four fuel stations within the Congestion Charge zone, Transport for London has activated more than 1000 EV charging points in the past year.
The comparison isn't a direct representation of how many vehicles can be filled or charged at any one time, however, because while most fuel stations house at least four pumps, many of the EV charging sites contain only a single charger.
Nissan GB's managing director, Kalyana Sivagnanam, said: “We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety, with EVs now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs. The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”
The British government recently pledged £2.5 million to provide more charging facilities in residential areas as part of its plan to bring the country's CO2 emissions down to almost zero by 2050.
Latest industry figures show that demand for EVs increased by 158% in July over the same month in 2018.