THE number of ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers and high-power charging hubs rose at record levels across the UK in 2023, according to charge point mapping service Zapmap.
Charging statistics show year-on-year growth of 45 per cent in the total number of net new public chargers installed across the country. The figure is up from 31 per cent for the years 2021 to 2022.
In October 2023, the UK passed the milestone of 50,000 public charging points, having only surpassed the 40,000 mark in February.
Furthermore, 2023 saw the rate of net new chargers increase to almost 1,400 devices every month - up from 730 net new devices each month in 2022. This represents growth of 89 per cent in the pace of monthly charge points installations.
Zapmap's new charging statistics come alongside the start of the ZEV mandate and news from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders confirming record sales of new pure-electric cars.
A total of almost 315,000 pure-electric cars were sold in the UK last year, which means there are 51 per cent more EVs on the road than at the end of 2022.
The number of high-powered chargers grew by 52 per cent in 2023 to a total of almost 10,500 devices across more than 5,000 locations at the end of December.
Most of the growth was from ultra-rapid chargers providing 100kW or more of power. Designed for drivers looking to recharge their vehicle as quickly as possible on longer journeys, these devices can add roughly 100 miles of charge in about 15 minutes.
At the end of 2020, the 788 devices in the UK of 100kW or more accounted for 20 per cent of the country's high-powered chargers.
By the end of December 2023, there were almost 4,870 of these ultra-rapid chargers, comprising 46 per cent of high-powered devices across the country.
The year-on-year growth in the number of UK charging hubs - more than six rapid or ultra rapid devices - rose from 108 at the end of December 2022 up to 264 by the end of 2023 - an increase of 145 per cent.
These charging hubs are opening in a variety of locations, typically near strategic road networks.
Zapmap says that only 20 per cent are located at motorway services and charging hubs can be found in a variety of locations from retail parks, car parks, fuel stations to dedicated charging areas which provide amenities for EV drivers.
Since 2022, Greater London, South East and South West have joined Scotland in having more than 1,000 rapid or ultra rapid chargers available, and nearly all areas of the UK showed growth.
At the other end of the charging spectrum, low powered chargers to support those without charging points at home has also grown - there are 72 per cent more on-street chargers thanthere were this time last year, although the rollout is regionally patchy and largely dependent on the engagement at a local authority level.
In 2023, however, there was good progress in the rollout of the governments £450m LEVI scheme to support local authorities, and it is expected that 2024 will see further developments in this area.
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder chief operating officer at Zapmap, said: "Overall 2023 was a very good year for EV charging with the rate of installation showing record growth, particularly for the higher powered chargers to support EV drivers on longer journeys.
"Zapmap's focus continues to be on providing EV drivers with the information they need to find reliable, available charging when they are out and about. Whilst less than three per cent of EV drivers would go back to petrol/diesel, we know that EV drivers want more chargers and a better charger experience."
Ian Johnston, chair of ChargeUK, said: "These numbers can give drivers further confidence. Our members are putting charge points in the ground at record pace and will spend Â£6 billion before 2030 on ensuring the UK has the right charging solutions in the right place."