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UK public charging network surpasses 43,000 charge points

Nic Ryan

New statistics from Zapmap show the growth of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure,
at the end of May 2023 there were 43,626 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 25,413 charging locations, providing over 70,000 charging connectors. 

This represents a 38% increase in the total number of charging devices since May 2022.
1,628 new EV charging devices were added to the Zapmap database in the last month which includes 332 ultra-rapid charge points, a 99% increase since May 2022.


May 2023 stats infographic


This expansion of the rapid and ultra-rapid network is essential for supporting the ever-increasing number of EVs on our roads, where a quick 10-15 minute charge from an ultra-rapid charge point can add up to 100 miles of range, closing the ‘convenience gap’ between quickly filling up with petrol and diesel and potential EV charging delays.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) there are now over 780,000 fully electric cars on UK roads. The 24,513 BEVs sold accounted for 16.9% of overall car sales in May.


BEV market share monthly graph


The last month has seen a disappointing increase in anti-EV rhetoric in the media, based on the premise that EV charging infrastructure is not keeping up with demand. 

Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and Co-founder of Zapmap set the record straight during an interview with John Pienaar of Times Radio Drive.

“In March and April we’ve had the most ever charge points added to the charge point network, and the most important, the ultra-rapid, have gone up by 99% since this time last year,” said Melanie.

“Whilst the charging network is not perfect, it’s certainly growing at a really really good pace across the UK.

“I think the key thing to think about is that not all charging is created equal," said Melanie in response to the suggestion that the UK is not making the progress required to hit targets set by the government to make the shift from fossil fuel vehicles to electric.

“There’s an equation between petrol stations and cars, it’s very different for EV charging, the vast majority of EV drivers charge at home.

“So while there are 43,000 public chargers, there are over half a million charge points which are installed on people’s driveways - people are happily charging up at home and very rarely need to use the public network.

“For those people the critical issue is, when they are on a longer journey, can they find a high powered charge point where they can charge quickly and efficiently - those charge points are going in at a really rapid rate.”

CTO and Zapmap co-founder, Ben Lane, highlights an important discussion in this Guardian opinion piece about the shift away from petrol and diesel engines.  Whilst acknowledging that EVs alone are not enough to solve the transport element of the climate crisis, Ben argues  it is clear that transitioning to zero-emission vehicles will support the resilience of the energy system and significantly reduce overall carbon use. 

About Zapmap
As a pioneer in the early days of electric cars, Zapmap was founded in 2014 with a mission to make the EV charging experience simple, wherever you go.
Zapmap currently has almost 600,000 registered users and over 95% of the UK’s public points on its network, more than 70% of which show live availability data.
An integral part of supporting the wider EV industry, Zapmap Insights is the leading source of EV charging data and insights, providing unrivalled data and expert analysis into the shape and usage of EV charging infrastructure, as well as the attitudes and behaviours of EV drivers.