Record number of public electric vehicle chargers installed in the UK in 2022 | Auto industry

British companies installed a record number of universal electric vehicle chargers during 2022 as they race to dominate a fast-growing and potentially lucrative market.

There were more than 8,700 public chargers installed in the UK during the year to December 22, bringing the total number available to more than 37,000, according to Zap-Map, a data company. That represented a 30% year-over-year increase, slower than the 38% annual growth in battery electric vehicle sales in the year through November.

Boris Johnson’s government has announced a target of 300,000 superchargers available to the public by 2030, when new petrol or diesel cars will be banned from being sold. A 30% annual growth in the number of installed chargers would be enough to meet the target, though that could mean more than doubling annual installations to 19,000 by 2025 and accelerating from there.

Despite the scale of the challenge, many in the industry consider the 300,000 target realistic, according to Ben Nelms, CEO of New Automotive, a think-tank. He said shipper companies have more investment coming in than they can operate, but problems may remain as local authorities are slow to act.

Chris Pateman-Jones, chief executive of Connected Curb, which plans to have 190,000 chargers installed on the streets by 2030, said he expects another big increase in charger numbers through 2023, but “more needs to be done if the country is to be So is EV-ready for 2030.”

He said local authorities needed to install “hundreds, even thousands, of charging points in their area – not just a handful”, while central government also had a role to play in sites such as the NHS.

“Size remains the biggest challenge for the electric vehicle industry, but installation in the right places where there is the greatest need is also critical,” he said. “Cooperation between central government, local authorities, businesses and charging point operators is a prerequisite to unlocking the financing needed for a full transition, as is winning the hearts and minds of communities around the benefits of electric vehicles.”

Some electric vehicle owners have reported lines to charge chargers between Christmas and the New Year, during one of the busiest periods for long trips. However, Zap-Map co-founder and CEO Melanie Shufflebotham said fast and ultra-fast chargers “on the way” were “doing at a very good rate” with nearly 1,000 additions through 2022.

The fast and ultra-fast chargers are capable of delivering over 25 kW and over 100 kW of power respectively, adding up to 200 miles of charge in half an hour.

The extremely fast market has attracted significant funding from companies including automakers Tesla and Instavolt and oil companies Shell and BP. On-the-go shipping offers the promise of a steady stream of users willing to pay a premium for faster shipments — as well as a restricted audience for the services’ shops and restaurants.

However, Shufflebotham said the number of slower chargers on the streets was growing “very quickly, but sporadically”, in part due to very different approaches from local authorities.

In 2022, there will be 7,000 new “slow” or “fast” chargers with a capacity of up to 22 kW. Street chargers, which can charge cheaply overnight, will be essential for the millions of households who lack private off-street parking.