electric car charging

Plug-in sales soar, but where will they plug in?

Image credit: UK Power Networks

Charging infrastructure is not being rolled out as quickly as new plug-in vehicles are joining the UK’s roads, leading to calls from experts for more investment, delivery and support from the government.

The sale of electric vehicles (EVs) has skyrocketed in the UK in recent years, but analysis by E&T reveals that the deployment of chargepoints across the nation is not keeping pace with the record growth in EVs on the road.

According to the latest quarterly figures from the Department of Transport, there was a 62 per cent rise in newly registered plug-in vehicles in January-March 2022 over Q1 2021. In comparison, the number of newly registered petrol vehicles fell by 7 per cent and diesel registrations fell by 34 per cent.


The sale of new plug-in vehicles has soared over the last five years by 665 per cent. Meanwhile the number of newly registered petrol vehicles has fallen by 50 per cent and diesel by 76 per cent.


There are now more than four times more plug-in vehicles on UK roads (833,000) than there were in 2019, when there were 205,000. However, in the same time period the number of chargepoints to have been installed has increased just threefold, to 30,290, according to Zap-Map.


Independent government advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), said this demonstrated that “the deployment of charging infrastructure is not yet making fast enough progress to support the growth in electric vehicles”.

Eoin Devane, senior transport analyst at the CCC, said: “The government’s recent EV Infrastructure Strategy presents a credible delivery plan, but the pace of deployment will need to ramp up to reach its own target of 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030. This will require focus on investment, delivery, and support and guidance for local authorities to implement the strategy.”

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