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Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance comparison expert
Last Updated
5 OCTOBER 2023
8 min read
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The UK’s EV charging hotspots

The UK government has delayed their plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, but our recent survey revealed 44% of Brits are currently worried there aren’t enough charging points for the number of EVs on the road. So, will this delay mean the UK has more time to build the trust of British drivers and get on track to accommodate the increase in EVs on the road?

We’ve investigated EV charging availability around the country to reveal the UK’s EV charging hotspots. For each local authority, we considered the percentage increase in charging points since 2020, the number of charging points per 100k people and the percentage of charging devices that are rapid charging or above. These are classed as chargers that can deliver approximately 80% or more charge to the average car in under an hour.

The UK’s EV charging hotspots

Index Location Region Number of charging points per 100k people % of charging devices that are rapid charging or above % increase in charging points since 2020
1 Oadby and Wigston Leicestershire 69 13% 3,900%
2 Westminster London 893 4% 248%
3 Castle Point Essex 3 100% 200%
4 Rugby Warwickshire 69 35% 1,875%
5 Thurrock Essex 32 79% 273%
6 City of London London 638 13% 53%
7 Broadland Norfolk 48 61% 392%
8 South Staffordshire Staffordshire 49 57% 350%
9 Bromsgrove Worcestershire 53 64% 66%
10 South Kesteven Lincolnshire 34 65% 75%

Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire ranks as the number one EV charging hotspot in the UK, owing its title to the huge growth in the number of charging points available. The area has seen a massive 3,900% increase in the number of EV charging points since 2020, which is a greater increase than anywhere else in the country.

The London borough of Westminster comes in second place. Westminster offers by far the greatest number of charging devices in the UK, with 893 available per 100k people. This is a 248% increase since 2020, when it only had 527 on offer in total.

Castle Point in Essex follows in third. Although the borough currently only has 3 charging devices available per 100k people, the spot is certainly up and coming due to a 200% increase in charging devices since 2020. On top of that, all charging points are rapid charging or above. So, it’s clear this is a charging hotspot on the rise.

Rounding out the top five EV charging hotspots are Rugby in Warwickshire and Thurrock in Essex. Rugby has experienced the second-highest percentage increase in the number of charging points since 2020 at 1,875%, bringing the total per 100k people to 69. Meanwhile, Thurrock currently has 32 available per 100k people, with an impressive 79% of these being rapid charging or above.

The worst UK locations for EV charging

Index Location Region Charging points per 100k population % of charging devices that are rapid charging or above % increase in charging points since 2020
1 Ards and North Down Northern Ireland 12 0% 12%
2 Newry, Mourne and Down Northern Ireland 17 3% -3%
3 Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Northern Ireland 18 3% 30%
4 Leicester Leicestershire 30 1% 51%
5 Lisburn and Castlereagh Northern Ireland 10 7% 36%
Woking Surrey 22 4% 77%
6 Ashford Kent 34 4% 55%
Causeway Coast Northern Ireland 23 6% 39%
7 Derry City and Strabane Northern Ireland 17 8% 13%
Harlow Essex 14 0% 333%
8 Luton Bedfordshire 22 8% -9%
9 Blackpool Lancashire 21 7% 100%
Ribble Valley Lancashire 53 3% 106%
Fermanagh and Omagh Northern Ireland 30 9% -8%
Bracknell Forest Berkshire 44 4% 129%
10 Ipswich Suffolk 40 7% 17%

Northern Ireland is lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to EV charging, with seven Northern Irish local authorities appearing among the bottom 10: Ards and North Down; Newry, Mourne and Down; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Lisburn and Castlereagh; Causeway Coast and Glens; Derry City and Strabane; and Fermanagh and Omagh.

Ards and North Down ranks as the worst UK area of all for EV charging, with no rapid charging ports and only 12 charging devices per 100k people.      Newry, Mourne and Down is the second worst EV charging spot, having experienced a -3% decrease in the number of chargers available since 2020. This is followed by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Leicester; and Lisburn and Castlereagh.

Do Brits think there are enough EV charging points?

The UK currently has an average of 55 EV charging devices available per 100k inhabitants. But how do Brits feel about the number of chargers on offer?

Our survey revealed that while 22% of drivers do believe there are enough charging points for the number of EVs on the road, over two-fifths (44%) think don’t share that sentiment.

Drivers in Brighton are the most concerned, with 62% believing there aren’t enough EV charging points, followed by those in Bristol (57%) and Belfast (51%). Meanwhile, 31% of drivers in London think there are enough, followed by 30% in Birmingham.

Will there be enough charging points by 2030?

Only 30% of drivers we surveyed believe there will be enough EV chargers available by the government’s original planned ban of the sale of petrol and diesel cars in 2030. Those who currently drive an electric vehicle are most confident that there will be enough with nearly half (49%) agreeing, compared to just 28% of petrol and diesel car drivers.

In addition, less than a third (28%) of drivers are confident that the UK has a good plan in place to support the growing EV infrastructure needed to accommodate the increasing number of EVs on UK roads.

Brits’ biggest reservations about purchasing an EV or hybrid vehicle

When asked what their reservations about purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle were (if any), 53% of British drivers said that they are just too expensive. Over a quarter (26%) also complained that they offer fewer affordable vehicle options compared to petrol or diesel cars, and 15% said there are not as many second-hand options.

The second most common reservation given by 41% of people is fear the battery will run out before reaching their destination, followed by over a third (36%) of people saying there aren’t enough charging points in their area.

The cities most likely to say there aren’t enough charging points were Belfast (50%), Bristol (50%) and Edinburgh (46%).

Rank Reason % of people who gave this reason
1 They are too expensive 53%
2 I fear the battery will run out before reaching my destination 41%
3 There aren't any/enough charging points in areas I usually drive 36%
I feel that charging is more inconvenient than filling with petrol/diesel 36%
4 I wouldn't be able to charge it at my home 27%
5 They have fewer affordable vehicle options than petrol or diesel vehicles 26%
6 I don't believe they are much more environmentally friendly than petrol or diesel vehicles 25%
7 No specific reservations 24%
8 There are not as many second-hand options 15%
9 I need more education on them 12%
10 They don't provide as much power as I need 8%

Brits’ main motivations for purchasing an EV or hybrid vehicle

Among drivers who are keen to buy an EV or hybrid vehicle, the most common motivation is to save on the cost of fuel with 30% of people agreeing that this would be their reasoning. This is followed by 27% who said they want to reduce their carbon emissions, and      26% who said it’s because they are aware of the government's original plan to ban new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 (which has since been extended to 2035).

35% of electric and 37% of hybrid vehicle drivers said they were driven to purchase an EV because of the government's plans, versus only 25% of petrol and 26% of diesel car drivers.

Rank Reason % of people who gave this reason
1 To save on the cost of fuel 30%
2 To reduce my carbon emissions 27%
3 I'm aware of the government's plan to ban new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 26%
4 They are quieter to drive 16%
5 I already drive one, and I prefer it to a petrol or diesel vehicle 9%
Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

“It’s understandable that high upfront costs are holding over half (53%) of British drivers back from making the switch to an electric vehicle, however, our recent research found that the average annual running cost for an EV is £546 lower than for a petrol-fuelled car1, meaning drivers could save money in the long-run by switching to electric. EVs have also been more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars in the past, but car insurance for electric cars is becoming more affordable as they grow in popularity.

“Although the petrol car sale ban has been delayed by five years, we hope that the increase in infrastructure is able to support a rising number of EVs on the roads as many drivers also see this as a barrier to purchasing an electric vehicle. Currently, it’s crucial to plan any road trips in an EV around charging stations to ensure you don’t run out of battery, which you can do using a tool such as EV Navigation. It’s also important to make sure you have the right breakdown cover in case your vehicle does run out of battery mid-journey.”

- Julie Daniels, Motor insurance comparison expert

Methodology and Sources

We created an index of local authorities in the UK according to a range of metrics related to EV charging. The metrics analysed were:

 - The number of charging points per 100k people
 - The percentage of charging devices that are rapid charging or above
 - The percentage increase in charging points since 2020

We also carried out a survey of 2,012 UK licence holders (Age 17+) between 31/07/23 - 03/08/23. Note, the survey was conducted before the Government announced they were extending the deadline for the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035. 

[1] Insurance data is sourced from Compare the Market. 51% of Compare the Market customers were quoted less than the prices stated in this release for their car insurance for the period between February to April in 2022 and 2023. These are for petrol and electric vehicle enquiries for comprehensive cover. Hybrid vehicles are included in the petrol-fuelled insurance figures.

Up to £411: Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during February 2023. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their car insurance through Compare the Market.

ABI – Cost of claims data: https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2023/6/keeping-motorists-mobile---motor-insurers-payouts-up-14-over-the-last-year/

SMMT – BEV sales data (May 23): https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/ 

Fuel cost

  • Annual fuel costs based on drivers travelling 6,700 miles per year  (ONS NTS0901 – Private car: total annual mileage 2020)
  • Petrol priced at £1.51 per litre in Jan to March 2022 and £1.48 in Jan to March 2023 (Source: BEIS Monthly: Typical/average annual retail prices of petroleum products and a crude oil price index (tab 4.1.1 quarterly).
  • Fuel efficiency is 5.40 litres per 100km (Source: Department for Transport ENV0103)
  • Electricity priced at 30p per kWh in 2023 and 28p per kWh in 2022 (Source: Ofgem 2022 and 2023). Fuel efficiency is 17.2 kWh per 100km (Source: average efficiency for the ten most EV popular models on Compare the Market)

MOT cost

Vehicle Tax Rate

Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie