The UK Loves Electric Cars, But it's One of the Worst Countries for Charging Infrastructure

By Tom Pritchard on at

Electric cars are pretty popular in this country, especially amongst the youth who are least resistant to switching from a petrol pump to a plug socket. But echoing what we've heard before, it seems the UK isn't really ready to handle a steep uptake in electrical vehicles. Or at least it's not if a new report is to be believed.

GoCompare, yes the site with annoying opera singer in its adverts, did some analysis of 30 IEA member countries and worked out where everyone ranked on the electric car front. As it turns out the UK came out fifth in terms of EV adoption, which is pretty damn good, but was one of the 10 worst offenders when it came to actually making the necessary charging infrastructure available.

According to the analysis the UK has 133,670 electric cars on the road, behind Norway (176,310), Japan (205,350), the USA (762,060), and China (1,227,770). That said it came out in 22nd place on a ranking of ratio of charging points per 100km of road, scoring 3.20 in the process. Austria was on 21st with a score of 2.98, and trailing behind the UK was Denmark (3.32), Germany (3.77), China (4.48), Korea (5.29), Switzerland (5.64), Norway (11.03), Luxembourg (11.29), and the Netherlands (a dismal 23.25).

It's not the only one to appear on both lists, though it's worth mentioning that the number of cars aren't scored on a per capita basis. They're raw figures, so naturally the bigger countries like China and the USA are going to dominate. China's also pretty large too, which probably accounts for its rubbish charging point ratio.

From a raw figures perspective the UK doesn't seem that short of publicly accessible charging points, with 13,534 in total. The downside is that only 2,037 of those are fast chargers, and our car-to-charging-point average isn't great. It's the seventh worst on the list, with 9.87 cars per charging point. For comparison sake the best countries were Mexico (0.6), Slovakia (1.88), Ireland (2.66), and Czech Republic (3.08).

Despite the obvious limitations of the results, and the fact we don't have weighted results, it's interesting to compare how the UK's EV ambitions are doing compared to other big nations. Good and bad, apparently, so while we clearly don't need much motivation to ditch the fossil fuels we do need to put more effort into making sure people can actually charge their cars in public. You can check out all the results in full with the interactive graphic below: