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UK EV Charging Infrastructure Surges Forward Despite Challenges

Despite Rishi Sunak's recent announcement to scale back the UK's drive to net-zero, there is some good news for the electrification industry. According to Zapmap, EV chargepoint installations in the UK were up 82% YoY in the first half of 2023.

Widespread EV adoption has been, and continues to be, greatly hindered by chargepoint availability and reliability. Expansion and proper maintenance of the EV charging network are vital for alleviating the “range anxiety” EV owners often experience when traveling longer distances.

The current network in the UK is still not advanced enough to enable greater adoption - Techniche reported that one charging hub in the UK experienced wait times of over six hours over the 2022 Christmas period due to a combination of high demand and unpredictable charging infrastructure. Channel 4’s Dispatches found that over 5% of chargers it looked at were broken, while some estimates are as high as 10%. EV drivers already must meticulously plan charging stops for longer trips due to the limited coverage of charging infrastructure across the UK (a problem reflected around the world); arriving at a charging stop to find a limited number of chargers working only adds to the stress of owning an EV and delays widespread adoption.

Improvements to the system are continually being made, however, and the UK government recently passed new legislation to ensure that 99% of rapid chargers are reliable at any given time.

It is too soon to say definitively how Mr. Sunak’s new attitude towards net-zero will affect the EV industry, but EV charging infrastructure continues to improve.

For more information on the EV industry and the technologies driving electrification, check out Aalto’s EV Technology report.

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