61% of on-street chargers are lampposts
The latest news from the world of EVs
Hello and welcome back to The Fast Charge, a British EV newsletter.
Top stories in today’s edition… I pull out a few insights of interest from the government’s latest EV charger stats, The Times newspaper calls for a deadline rethink, and Transport for London reveals a new scrappage scheme.
As ever, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do get in touch. My contact details are here or simply reply to this email.
Latest EV charger statistics analysis
Headline… Over the course of 2022, the number of new chargers installed in the UK totalled more than 8,680. That’s an increase year-on-year of 31%. See the official statistics which are based on Zap-Map data.
Interestingly… the availability of ultra-rapid chargers increased by a whopping 78% over 2022, which is an increase of 1,005. Meaning there are apparently now 2,295 super speedy chargers to use.
But… while having a surging number of rapid chargers is great, actually, the number of slower chargers we have available – which are traditionally much more suitable for those without off-street parking – is in some ways more important. However, they only increased by a measly 23% last year. By comparison, in 2021 the number of slower chargers increased by 59% - so the pace has more than halved.
Questionable… Given how much cheaper and quicker it is to install slower chargers, the fact only 1,685 were put in during 2022 is to me quite alarming. Maybe local authorities aren’t moving quickly enough, or is it just that the majority of those getting into EVs continue to have driveways?
Light up… In a similar vein, based on the stats, which suggest 11,996 chargers are ‘on-street’ – making up 32% of the total number of chargers available – I believe 61% of these are lamppost devices. This is based on at least 7,271 chargers belonging to ubitricity and Char.gy, according to Zap-Map. Note, the SureCharge lamppost network is not included in these, so it’s possible the percentage is even higher.
Plug type… In terms of the type of connector, the number of rapid CHAdeMO chargers grew by 32% from 2021 to 2022. However, CCS has dominated by growing more than 41% over the same period. Meanwhile, Tesla supercharger installations seemed to slow last year, growing only by 10% or 126 devices. That’s compared to a 19% increase from 2020 to 2021 – or 202 superchargers.
EV ratio… Since the statistics came out last week, there has been a lot of reporting on the fact that the number of EVs to each charger is getting tighter. According to my data, there are now 16 EVs for each public charger. Likewise, there are 89 EVs to each rapid charger.
However… it’s important to remember that “private domestic and workplace charging devices are not included” within the government data. Based on the official grant data (up to October 2022), there have been 36,000 workplace chargers installed using grants. Likewise, it’s estimated that 375,000 home chargers have been installed using grants. In reality, these numbers will be much higher.
Not so dramatic… this means in the UK there are around 450,000 charge points to plug into. That means technically the number of EVs for each charger in the UK (total) is 1.4. Given that most of the people buying EVs have driveways still, we shouldn’t lose sight of that figure.
The latest EV news…
HALF CUT: The electric van maker, Arrival, which before Christmas suffered a great deal of negative press as it shifted production to the US, has this week announced it will cut half of its remaining workforce as it looks to save cash. Yesterday, the company also appointed Igor Torgov – who has been at the carmaker for two years – as the new CEO. Read more.
USED CONCERN: According to a report yesterday, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles has created a working group to examine the used EV market, as there are concerns about demand which may need to be solved with fresh incentives. In The Times, a report suggested models like the Nissan Leaf have only fallen in price by 1.6% in the past year, as an example. Marc Palmer, brand director at Auto Trader, said: “What we really need is more mainstream demand. We need middle-income households to be able to access electric cars and to be reassured electricity is OK.” Read more.
REVISE IT: Linked to the above, The Times editorial yesterday called for the government to revisit the target date for banning petrol and diesel vehicles. What worries me about this is that editors don’t like to write things if they don’t think they won’t happen. And I sense from other stories recently, such as the jitters around the ZEV mandate being introduced, that there is concern in the industry the government may be looking at the date. Who knows, maybe I’m speculating too much. Here’s what The Times concludes:
“An ambitious target date for banning sales of new petrol vehicles may be politically attractive but it needs to be combined with making EV ownership more feasible and indeed attractive. Policymakers will not be giving up on the environment if they combine revisiting the target date with investing in charging points and subsidising the cost of EVs for lower-income households. In preserving the planet, the best must not become the enemy of the good.” The Times, Monday 30 January
MORE CHARGERS: Ultra-rapid charging network Fastned has opened its 13th hub in the UK. The new charging station is based in Washington, in the North East of England – which makes it the 7th location in the North East for Fastned – which is great for getting rid of charging deserts. There are eight bays available each with up to 300kw. Read more.
AND MORE STILL: A new Gridserve EV charging hub planned for Wickford in Essex has been approved, after previously being up in the air since November due to traffic concerns. The new hub will have 31 chargers when complete, plus a gym, lounge, café, and children’s play area. Read more.
WARNING ADVICE: The boss of Moto has suggested that the UK will need 12 times more electric power for EV charging by 2030. This comes as Moto hit 200 chargers across its service station network – one of the first of which was the trailblazing Moto Rugby. Read comments here.
NEW CREDIT: The EV subscription company, Onto, which is based in London, has received £100m in new credit as it continues to grow its offer in the UK. Increasingly, people seem to be using schemes like Onto as an easier way to get into EVs. Read more.
CLEAN FUND: Yesterday Transport for London introduced a new scrappage scheme where Londoners can receive up to £5,000 to scrap or retrofit their vehicle to meet ULEZ standards. The scheme applies to all 32 boroughs. £5,000 is available for those with wheelchair-accessible vehicles, meanwhile £2,000 can be used for standard cars. This comes as the ULEZ will expand to cover all boroughs from 29 August this year. Read more.
CAR MAKERS: According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, annual UK car production fell -9.8% to 775,014 units in 2022. Despite these challenges, UK factories turned out a record 234,066 EVs (including plug-in hybrids and hybrids). Read more.
STEP DOWN: Speaking of car production, the President of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, is stepping down from the carmaker as the firm overhauls its strategy of EVs. For many years, Toyota has lagged behind on EVs and is now playing catch-up. Read more.
MACH CHEAP: The CEO of Ford, Jim Farley, has said that the carmaker will be cutting the price of its Mach-E around the world. The cut could be by as much as 9%. The reduction in prices comes after Tesla recently dropped its prices. This move certainly makes clear Ford prefers volume over margins. Be interesting if any other manufacturers join them.
NEW PRICES: Talking of prices, Scotland’s Highland Council has proposed more than doubling the price of using most of its EV network due to the increased costs of running it. The cost at its fastest charging points could increase from 30p per kWh to 70p as a result. The network currently operates 85 devices. Read more.
MY NETWORK: A few weeks ago, I claimed I was going to try to build a charging network this year. Several of you have asked how this is going. In short, badly. I suddenly feel all the pain of having to spool through the endless mind-numbing local EV strategies. Anyway, what I’ve concluded is I am vastly unprepared to create a physical network. However, maybe I could deliver a virtual one… It’s a rather grandiose and vague ambition, which is why I’ve roped in my long-suffering entrepreneurial collaborator – my brother Charles – to help me. We’ve previously built two services together – one of which served 15 million people during covid. So stay tuned for updates.
By Tom Riley | Check my Linktree for LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter