Electric vehicle charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020

Electric vehicle charging points to outnumber petrol stations by 2020
The number of electric vehicle charging stations is set to overtake that of traditional fuel stations by the end of the decade, a leading car manufacturer has predicted.

Research from Nissan forecasts that the number of petrol stations in the UK will fall below 7,870 by August 2020, based on the current rate of decline.

At the same time, the UK’s network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is to expand, with the number available expected to hit 7,900 by the same point.

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However, with more and more motorists turning to electrically powered vehicles, the manufacturer predicts that the balance between petrol and charging stations could be tipped a lot sooner.

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Nissan’s report found that the number of petrol stations in Britain has been falling steadily since the 1970s, when there were 37,539 on the country’s roads.

Now, there are 8,472 traditional fuel stations nationwide, as supermarkets have started to offer petrol and diesel and driven smaller retailers out of business.

But according to the findings from Nissan, the shortfall in petrol stations will soon be made up for by the growing presence of EV charge points.

There are currently 4,100 public charging stations in the UK – a huge increase considering there was just a cluster of them available as recently as 2011.

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While EVs continue to remain in the minority on the country’s roads, demand is rising fast.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) showed that there was a huge increase in the number of plug-in and hybrid cars in 2015.

The data revealed that there were 45,300 electric vehicles in the UK by the end of 2015, up from 20,500 at the end of 2014 and just 134 in 2010.

And with demand growing, the infrastructure needed to support the vehicles is also being put in place rapidly, as Nissan’s EV manager Edward Jones suggests.

“As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving.

“Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.”

Jones believes the EV adoption will follow an “S-curve” of demand, where a gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying EVs in the same fashion they would purchase any other powertrain.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.