A new analysis by Nissan predicts that there will be more public locations to charge electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.K. than there are petrol fuel stations by summer 2020.
At the end of 2015, there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the U.K. – down from 37,539 in 1970. Assuming a steady rate of decline, Nissan predicts that by August 2020, this will fall to under 7,870. In contrast, the number of public EV charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by the same point in time – and considering the accelerating rate of EV adoption, Nissan adds, it is likely this crossover could happen even sooner.
The report states that the U.K. has lost more than 75% of petrol stations in the past four decades, while electric charging points have gone from hundreds to thousands in just a few years.
According to Go Ultra Low, the joint government and car industry campaign, more than 115 EVs were registered every day in the first quarter of 2016 – equivalent to one every 13 minutes. The campaign also believes electric power could be the dominant form of propulsion for all new cars sold in the U.K. as early as 2027, with more than 1.3 million electric cars registered each year.
“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,” says Edward Jones, EV Manager at Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd.
“As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand,” he adds. “A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.”
Nissan says it was the first manufacturer to introduce a mass-produced EV and has also been a strong advocate of supporting a convenient charging infrastructure – having partnered with Ecotricity last year, calling on the U.K. government to introduce official EV charging point road signage.
The report states that although the vast majority of EV owners charge at home, 98% of U.K. motorway services have charging stations, including rapid connectors that can charge a LEAF’s battery to 80% in just 30 minutes. The 30 kWh Nissan LEAF, launched in January, delivers up to 155 miles on a single charge – a range that covers more than 90% of the average daily commuting requirements.