A recent study conducted by Leasing Options has shed light on the challenges the UK faces in its transition to electric vehicles (EVs), with queueing times for charge points identified as a significant barrier.
The research highlights the lack of charging infrastructure in the country and presents a hypothetical scenario where every electric vehicle needs to utilise charge points simultaneously.
The study utilised government data on licensed electric vehicles and the number of EVs to determine the EV per charger ratio. It also considered the average time-to-charge of the UK's top 10 most popular electric vehicles to calculate wait times for charge points.
One of the most striking findings of the study was in the Windsor and Maidenhead area, where there are over 9,000 electric vehicles for every rapid charger. While the chances of all electric drivers requiring a charge simultaneously are slim, Leasing Options' research revealed that drivers in this area would have to wait over 315 days for their turn at a charge point.
Currently, there are 91 EVs for every rapid charger in the UK. Government data indicates that only 17% of chargers are classified as rapid, leaving drivers who arrive at unavailable charge points with no choice but to use slow chargers that can take up to 12 hours for a full charge.
The situation in Windsor and Maidenhead is particularly dire, with an astonishing 29,599 electric vehicles in the area, but only three rapid charge points available. This creates an alarming queue of 9,866 electric vehicles for each charger. The number of electric vehicles in this area increased by over 151% towards the end of 2021, exacerbating the problem caused by the scarcity of rapid charge points.
Stockport also faces challenges, with over 10% of total cars being electric. However, there are only 35 rapid chargers available, resulting in a wait time of 94 days, according to Leasing Options' calculations. Swindon, with its 1,129 electric vehicles per rapid charger, follows closely behind with a hypothetical queueing time of 47 days.
These findings highlight the urgent need for the UK to invest in expanding its charging infrastructure. The growing popularity of electric vehicles, combined with the limited number of rapid charge points, is hindering the widespread adoption of EVs and causing significant inconveniences for owners.
It is vital for local authorities and governments to take immediate action to address this issue. By investing in more rapid charge points and expanding the charging network, considerable improvements can be made in reducing queueing times, making electric vehicles a more viable choice for consumers and further accelerating the transition to sustainable transportation in the UK.