Research released by Chargemaster shows significant growth in the number of charging points in the first quarter of this year. However 61% of towns and cities with a population of over 120,000 have no public charging infrastructure at all.
The National Charge Point Index (NCPI) also shows strong regional differences in the deployment of charging infrastructure around the UK. While London has the highest number of charging points, some other cities such as Newcastle and Oxford are now well served.
Key findings from the NCPI include:
- 704 public charging bays are now available to use across UK
- The number of charging points has more than doubled in the past year
- 48% increase in charging bays over last quarter alone
- 61% of towns and cities with a population over 120,000 have no public charging infrastructure at all
- London, the Newcastle area and Oxford are the best served cities with charging infrastructure in the UK
The growth in the first quarter of 2011 comes as the first generation of electric vehicles hit the street. An estimated 43 new models will be brought to market from major car manufacturers over the next 36 months. For example, the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi I-MiEV, Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-Zero can all be purchased with the benefit of the Government’s Plugged-in car grant of £5,000. The growth of electric and plug in hybrid vehicles is widely forecast to grow very rapidly over the next few years with around 10% of the new car market requiring plug in facilities by the end of the decade.
Despite this growth, there are strong regional differences in the deployment of infrastructure; 77 of the 124 towns and cities with a population greater than 120,000 in the UK do not have any public charging points This lack of infrastructure is undoubtedly one of the obstacles to the widespread use of low carbon plug in vehicles which is essential for the country to meet strict EU emission targets.
David Martell, chief executive, Chargemaster stated: “The Government’s Plugged in Places (PiPs) scheme has started to be successful in providing a good infrastructure in the places where it has been focused however there is a long way to go before there is the coverage necessary to stop consumers worrying about where they may be able to charge their electric cars.
Private sector organisations such as supermarkets, Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco have all installed charging points over the last quarter and this will encourage EV users to ‘graze’ whereby they charge their cars while carrying out other activities.”
While London has the most charging points at present, over 401, the PiPs scheme is set to ensure that Milton Keynes, the East of England, the Midlands, Greater Manchester, Scotland, the North East, Northern Ireland as well as London should experience considerable growth in EV charging point infrastructure over the next twelve months.
Chargemaster will release the National Charge Point Index on a quarterly basis covering charging points installed by all suppliers and operators thereby providing a single source of data enabling the growth of infrastructure to be monitored. For more information please find the research attached.