A close up of charging an electric vehicle.

London electric vehicle charging points roll out beats other UK cities

London has taken the lead ahead of major UK cities in rolling out electric vehicle charging points, according to UK Government data.

This follows the Government coming under fire after it fell short of its charging infrastructure goal in 2023, despite significant progress being made across the capital.

By the end of last year, the Government’s original goal was to install at least six rapid or ultra-rapid charging station at each motorway service area in England.

This target was missed by 61%, a RAC report has revealed.

However, a discrepancy exists between the density of charging points in London and other UK cities.

London takes the top spot as the UK city with the most charging stations per 100,000 population by a significant margin.

In October, the capital was recorded to have 192.8 charging points per 100,000, while England’s overall numbers stood below half of that figure, with 75.2 chargers per 100,000.

Head of roads policy at The AA Jack Cousens said: “The picture is much rosier than people think when it comes to the public EV charging network.

“But, by the same token, if you look at the reasons why petrol and diesel drivers are hesitant to make the switch to EVs, their perception of the public charging network is one of the top three reasons why they don’t.

“I agree there is more to be done in this area to help consumers have confidence in the network before making the switch.”

Cousens said that, alongside the lack of charging infrastructure, initial purchase price and distance travelled on a single charge (known as ‘range anxiety’) play a role in steering consumers away from the new vehicles.

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He added: “I think we also need to help people understand that long distance travel is easier than people think with an EV.

“In the interests of full disclosure, I started running an EV from June and have driven from Basingstoke to South West Wales twice and to Newcastle and back with no issues at all.

“The systems built into EVs and apps like Zap-Map means five minutes spent before setting off allows you to pick and choose where you want to charge.

“If you’re really clever you can find free charging too so it doesn’t cost you a penny!”

Within London, Hammersmith & Fulham borough has the most EV charging points per 100,000 of the population, closely followed by Westminster.

Green London Assembly Member and former co-leader of the Green Party Siân Berry said that EVs are ‘investments’ and advised that those who are unsure or cannot afford the price of EVs should give up their current cars and use public transport more often.

She said: “It’s encouraging to see some London boroughs making efforts to increase the amount of charging points there are.

“It isn’t easy for councils to do. The fact that someone’s making decent progress is a good thing.”

However, she said that there were still significant obstacles and red tape which has stalled a greener future.

She highlighted certain potential pitfalls to the schemes, such as cluttering of the pavement and getting in the way of pedestrians and cyclists when infrastructure is installed.

Berry explained: “Getting the numbers up is very tough.

“The targets that Boris Johnson put in place as Prime Minister were very efficient.

“A lot of politicians seem to think it’s super easy and you could just wave a magic wand and it’ll happen.

“It’s been very stop-start, particularly at Mayoral level, all the way through my involvement in politics.”

The government data has followed a pledge in March last year to deliver 300,000 chargers across the nation to facilitate the transition to an electric transportation system.

To do so, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a £2 billion investment to contribute towards rolling out more charging points in the Autumn Statement in November.

This has made up part of the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, passed into law on 3 January, after the Prime Minister proposed a delay to the new legislation.

The policy plans to support manufacturers and families in switching to electric modes of transport by extending the deadline to 2035 instead of 2030.

As the most ambitious regulatory framework for the transition to EVs worldwide, this development brings the UK’s transition to electric up to speed with major European economies such as Germany and Sweden.

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