Number of public chargers rose by 9% in Q4

James Batchelor

2 Feb 2024

The number of public charging points in the UK have increased by a modest 9% in the last quarter, new figures show.

The Department of Transport's quarterly reports into electric vehicle public charging reveal the ongoing developments of the charging infrastructure across the UK.

Using data from Zapmap, the latest report shows that the number of installed 'devices' increased by 4,457 between October 1, 2023 and January 1, 2024 – a 9% increase. As of January 1, 2024, there were 53,677 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK, of which 10,118 had 50kW of power or above and 31,910 had a rating of 3kW up to 8kW. Some 24,121 were designated as 'destination' chargers, and 20,705 were 'on street' chargers. 

Comparing year-on-year figures shows a larger increase, however. Since January 1, 2023, 16,622 more chargers were installed, representing a 45% increase. The number of rapid chargers (currently defined as chargers with power between 25kW and 100kW) and above (ultra rapid chargers – 100kW-plus) jumped by 52% or 3,604 units. Chargers with power of between 3kW up to 8kW represent the vast majority of the UK's current charging infrastructure, totalling 59%. Chargers rated between 8kW and 49kW take 22% of the share, while 12% of the network is of 50kW to 149kW chargers. 150kW-plus points represent just 7% of the total network.

The report also showed that there's still uneven geographical distribution of chargers across the UK. London leads the way with the number of chargers per 100,000 of population with 210. Northern Ireland has the smallest ratio of 24 chargers per 100,000 population, followed by the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, each with 49 devices per 100,000. The report said some UK local authorities have bid for UK Government funding for charging devices, and others have not.

The report's publication prompted Auto Trader to renew calls to scrap VAT on public charging. Ian Plummer, Auto Trader Commercial Director, said: “More public charge points are welcome but efforts to encourage electric vehicles are still hampered by an unfair VAT regime. 

"Electric drivers relying on rapid public charging can expect to pay on average £28 more per 1,000 miles compared to petrol counterparts, but those able to charge at home will pay just 5% VAT on energy and enjoy savings of £142 per 1,000 miles on average. 

"It’s time the government listened to calls from drivers and industry and scrapped the 20% VAT rate on public charging to ensure no driver is left behind in the electric switch.”

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