EV Charging Network Is Not Growing Fast Enough To Meet Demand

Business Insights


  • The number of public EV charge points in the UK increased by just 26% over the past 12 months, compared to a 186% rise in sales of EVs in 2020
  • “Much greater progress” being made in business fleet infrastructure

The rate of growth of the electric vehicle public charging network isn’t fast enough to meet growing demand for EVs, according to a leading developer of electric vehicle charge-points and charging software.

Analysis of new government data1 by EO Charging (EO), which counts the likes of Sainsbury’s, Ocado and DHL as clients, reveals that just 4,270 public charge-points have been installed in the past 12 months, an increase of just 26 per cent.

By comparison, UK sales of electric cars increased from 1.6 per cent of the market in 2019 to 6.6% of the market in 2020, a 186% year-on-year increase in volume. In the final month of 2020 the Tesla Model 3, an electric car, was the best-selling model in the country by some distance.

EO says public charging infrastructure isn’t being put in place fast enough to cope with this surging demand.

Charlie Jardine, CEO and Founder at EO, said:

“While the best scenario for EV drivers is to be able to charge at home or at work, this is not always possible. It’s vital that we develop an extensive and reliable public charging network both for private and business road users. Without it, we risk putting people off EVs when the ball is just starting to roll.”

The company says that while the government data only measures public charge points, its experience suggests there is much greater progress being made in the business fleet sector, which accounts for 59% of vehicles on UK roads.

Many companies with large business fleets such as DPD, Amazon and Hermes are already heavily investing in EVs. Recently released data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that electric van sales were up an incredible 64.4 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

EO, which is focused on business fleets rather than consumer vehicles, more than tripled its revenues in 2020, fuelled by some major contract wins with companies in the UK and overseas installing charging infrastructure to support their growing EV fleets.

Jardine explained:

“We’ve seen a surge in demand in recent months from businesses who are acting on the Government’s commitment to electric vehicles and growing sentiment from their customers, and are suddenly accelerating their plans to switch to electric.

“Large fleet owners are leading the way in installing EV infrastructure but while they are putting in place their own charge points at depots and employees’ homes, we still need a reliable public charging network – for both private users and business users. Company fleets across the UK will need on the go charging for vehicles travelling up and down the country so the acceleration of the growth of the public network is vital.”

In November the UK Government renewed its commitment to EV technology, bringing forward a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030, and announcing further support and incentives for EV uptake.

Regional disparities

Analysis of the new government data reveals significant disparities between the rate at which public charging infrastructure is being installed in different counties, and indeed by different local authorities.

Wales has shown the biggest percentage increase in chargers in the past 12 months (41.3%), followed by the West Midlands (36.4%) and Yorkshire & the Humber (36.3%). At the other end of the scale Northern Ireland has just added 25 public charge-points over the past year, an 8.5% increase.

About EO

EO Charging (EO) is a leading technology solutions provider in the electric vehicle sector. Designing and manufacturing electric vehicle charging stations and cloud-based charge-point management software for fleets, homes and destinations at its headquarters in Suffolk, United Kingdom, EO also provides installation services and ongoing operations and maintenance.

Founded in 2015, EO’s technology is used by many of the world’s biggest businesses and fleet operators and it now distributes to over 30 countries around the world. It aims to become the global leader in charging electric car and van fleets.

To learn more, please visit www.EOcharging.com and follow us @EOCharging on Twitter and LinkedIn.