There are now 1,000 more points to charge electric vehicles than petrol pumps in the UK, according to research by Japanese car manufacturer Nissan

Nissan LEAF Charging (1)-source

Charging points for EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf, exceeded traditional fuel stations for the first time in the UK in 2019

The rapid growth in electric vehicle usage has seen the number of charging points exceed the number of conventional fuel stations in the UK for the first time.

There are now 9,300 EV charging locations compared with 8,400 traditional fuel stations across the country, according to figures from Japanese automotive manufacturer Nissan.

While the number of electric charging locations has increased ten-fold since being introduced in the UK in 2012, the amount of petrol forecourts has declined by 80%, since its peak in 1970.

This has been countered by the growing demand for plug-in vehicles from UK consumers, with 60,000 EVs registered in 2018.

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Charging station for electric vehicles in Galashiels, Scotland (Credit: Walter Baxter/Geograph)

Harry Merrison, investment manager at wealth management firm Kingswood, said: “Today’s data is a reflection of the ongoing shift in automobiles from traditional fuel to electric.

“Around the globe, less than one per cent of vehicles are fully electric, which represents a significant growth opportunity given the inevitability of the technology’s future monopoly.

“The charging infrastructure behind this, which is still relatively new, is showing clear signs that it is preparing for a significant shift.

“The future of driving is very much electric, we are witnessing the phasing out of automotive internal combustion engines.”

The landmark figure in the transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric comes less than 100 years after the first fuel station opened in Britain.

The Automobile Association opened the first UK filling station in November 1919, at Aldermaston, Berkshire.


Number of rapid charging points up

Some 1,600 of the 2,500 new electric vehicle charging points are described as ‘rapid charging’ — capable of charging a typical EV battery to 80% in less than an hour.

Managing director of Nissan Motor GB 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.”

The most active area for EV charging installations was London, which saw 1,000 new points introduced by Transport for London.

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The UK’s Road to Zero strategy outlines plans for more electric vehicle charge points

The switch to zero-emission alternatives in the capital may have been prompted by the introduction of the Ultra-Low-Emission-Zone, which came into force on 8 April for vehicles travelling in central London.

The regulation means cars and vans need to meet tighter exhaust emission standards in order to avoid daily charges.

The news comes a few days after the UK Government announced an additional £2.5m ($3m) for the construction of 1,000 new electric car charge points in residential areas.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.

“That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution – right across the country.”