Cities that could benefit most from EV Rapid Charging Fund revealed

Cities that could benefit most from EV Rapid Charging Fund revealed


Research by uSwitch has shown that Stoke-on-Trent, Southend, and Birmingham could benefit most from the UK Government’s £500 million Rapid Charging Fund.

The funding aims to help boost the number of electric vehicles on UK roads by providing new public rapid charge points, with support for 2,500 to be installed across England by 2030.

Comparison and switching service uSwitch has analysed Zap-Map and DVLA data to determine which areas are best and worst served by rapid EV charger points currently.

Amongst those best served at the moment are Bristol, Milton Keynes, and Dundee, when looking at how many EVs are on the road compared to an area’s EV charge point numbers.

The best and worst served areas in the UK are listed below.

Top ten UK cities for EV charging provisions as of May 2020:

● Bristol – 22.9 EVs per charge point
● Milton Keynes – 23.4 EVs per charge point
● Dundee – 28 EVs per charge point
● Oxford – 28.5 EVs per charge point
● Brighton – 28.6 EVs per charge point
● Sunderland – 30.7 EVs cper charge point
● Greater London – 35 EVs per charge point
● Coventry – 35.4 EVs per charge point
● Lancaster – 41.3 EVs per charge point
● Exeter – 43.3 EVs per charge point

Bottom ten UK cities for EV charging provisions as of May 2020:

● Stoke-on-Trent – 268 EVs per charge point
● Southend – 201.8 EVs per charge point
● Birmingham – 174.9 EVs per charge point
● Wolverhampton – 164 EVs per charge point
● Bolton – 161.3 EVs per charge point
● Hull – 157.4 EVs per charge point
● Bradford – 149.2 EVs per charge point
● Wakefield – 138 EVs per charge point
● Preston – 131.9 EVs per charge point
● Leicester – 122.7 EVs per charge point

Despite these figures, things are definitely improving, with a similar study in April 2019 showing some locations having made great strides in installing new public EV charge points. For example, Coventry had made the biggest changes in provisions over the last year, installing more than 140 new charging stations – a rise of 293%. Sheffield (up 147%) and Derby (up 142%) also made noteworthy improvements.

The methodology used Zap-Map data for public EV charge point numbers in fixed areas, cross-referenced with registered drivers in the same area from the DVLA and Department of Transport. Driver figures were calculated by using an average of 2.5% of new car sales in 2019 to calculate how many EVs could be based in each city.

For example, Nottingham was based on the postcode areas for NG1-17, NG80 and NG90, where there were 227 EV charging points and 598,364 registered active UK drivers. Based on recent buying habits, uSwitch assumed that 1 in 40 of these drivers had access to an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, meaning approximately 14,959 EVs on Nottingham’s roads.

Of course, public EV charging infrastructure is only one aspect of electric vehicle ownership, with the majority of charging done at home and/or at work. However, since cities have less provision for off-street parking than towns, villages, and more rural areas, there is greater onus on major urban hubs having good numbers of public EV charge points.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at, said: “It’s a really exciting time to be an EV driver. This research suggests that the Rapid Charging Fund could have a significant impact for drivers across the UK – especially for those living in cities such as Stoke-on-Trent, Southend and Birmingham who are thinking about purchasing one.

“The funding will be instrumental in delivering a more sustainable future for the nation’s transport. It’s crucial though that this investment is spent wisely and is targeted towards the regions that need the funding most.

“While there is no obvious regional divide across the UK, it’s clear some locations are more prepared than others. We look forward to seeing how these changes can help bridge the gaps and impact what vehicles we see on our roads in the years to come.”

Find out more about’s ‘Electric Nation’ research here.