It is coming up to a century since the first fuel station was installed in the UK – the first opened in November 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire – and there are now about 8,400 of them scattered around the cities and countryside there.
However, in a sign of yet another ‘tipping point’ being passed in the EV revolution – that number is now exceeded by the number of public places to charge EVs!
By the way, if you are wondering what ICE vehicle owners did in the early days before fuel pumps – petrol was bought in two-gallon tins from all sorts of places, not just garages.
These included chemists, hardware shops and hotels – imagine the fire risks that presented, given the heavily regulated petrol station construction and maintenance industry that exists now. That period lasted some 20 plus years – which puts some of our early EV charging issues back into perspective!
But back to the present: Of these 8,400 UK fuel stations, more than 1,600 already provide DC fast-charging. According to Zap-Map, two new DC fast-chargers came online in the UK every day in the last month.
In fact, all UK motorway fuel stations now have charging stations installed, the majority of which provide a DC fast-charge option.
To further smooth the transition to EVs in the UK (and remembering that most electric vehicle owners only need to charge at home), the UK government is now looking to further support EV adoption with their recently proposed law requiring the installation of charge points for EVs in all new housing.
This is something that is barely on the radar for Australian building codes.
In a comment that really needs to be heeded by governments in Australia, Kalyana Sivagnanam (managing director of Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd.) is quoted as saying (in relation to this landmark EV charging site figure):
“Many consumers are saying their next car will be electric. That means the industry needs to ensure their desires are met with both the car – how far it can go, what technologies it has – and how it interacts with the world around it – where they can charge and how convenient that is for them.
“We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety with EVs now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs. The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”