Electric vehicle plug-in points overtake petrol stations across the UK
New industry data has revealed the extent of the UK’s electric vehicle network, with the number of public charging locations now surpassing petrol stations for the first time.
Charging points can now be found across the length and breadth of the country, from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall and from the Giant’s Causeway to the White Cliffs of Dover.
Data from electric vehicle charging specialists Zap-Map shows that as of this week there are 8,546 charging locations across the UK, hosting a total of 13,688 charging devices.
In contrast, there are currently only 8,400 petrol stations - a figure that is continuing to decline.
Scotland is the UK region with the greatest number of charging points, followed by London and the south-east.
Yorkshire and Wales are the regions least well equipped with facilities.
The network has been expanding steadily to support an increasing number of electric vehicles coming on to the road, with the number of locations increasing by 57 per cent in the past 12 months.
Across Scotland there were virtually no chargers fitted five years ago, while petrol forecourts have declined by a quarter over the last decade.
The Petrol Retailers Association has said one third of independent filling stations, many rural, have closed.
Now plug-in points are replacing pumps in many villages.
Areas without access to petrol which now have chargers include Torridon in the West Highlands and Tomintoul in Moray.
Ben Lane, Zap-Map co-founder, said: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet.
“This month’s milestone reveals the rapid pace of change already underway as the age of the combustion engine gives way to an all-electric era, with vehicles offering both zero-emissions and a better driving experience.”
Juliet Davenport, founder and chief executive of renewable power firm Good Energy, said: “Tackling the climate crisis means electric vehicles need to go mainstream.
“This milestone shows how rapidly we are moving in that direction, away from polluting petrol and diesel cars. We still have a long way to go but the future of transport is electric.”
There are currently 210,000 electric vehicles in use across the UK - up from just 3,500 six years ago - but analysts forecast that will rise to at least 1 million by the end of 2022.