Fast charger use up as EV drivers demand more powerful chargers on UK public network

Image of Neil Thomason
Author: | Updated: 21 Oct 2019 12:22

Interest in electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) has increased dramatically over the last 12 months, our own data shows an increase of more than 200% in lease enquiries year-on-year in September.

Now the Zap-Map EV Charging Survey Report 2019 has revealed current charging behaviours of EV drivers, with a 4% annual increase in proportion of EV drivers using both fast and rapid units.

Clear trends have emerged in regard to changes in behaviour on the public charging network, with 85% of EV drivers using fast-chargers (7-22 kW) and 86% using non-Tesla rapid chargers (>43 kW). These trends partly reflect the increased availability of both fast and rapid chargers on the UK network, the numbers of which have grown by 27% and 43% respectively in the past 12 months.

Nissan LEAF Charging (7)

However, this is well below the 54.8% increase in registrations of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, hybrids and mild hybrids year-on-year to September, showing that infrastructure continues to struggle to keep up with the public desire to switch to low emission vehicles.

Given that the proportion of EV drivers using the public charging network is broadly stable as is the usage of slow units, the figures also suggest an increasing demand for more powerful chargers.

As the range of electric vehicles has also grown in recent years, Zap-Map have naturally seen a 146% increase in charging duration at rapid units. There was an increase of 16% charging for 40 minutes or more and 18% fewer charging in under 40 minutes

To add to these trends, EV drivers may also be charging more often. Between 2016 and 2018, the surveys reveals a 6% increase in users charging their vehicle despite having a battery level of 20-40%, proving that range anxiety continues to be a big issue for many drivers.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Dr Ben Lane, CTO at Zap-Map, said: “In a market which is doubling every two years […] our objective with the annual EV Charging Survey is to provide just such data to accelerate the EV market in the UK and beyond.”

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