‘Significant’ increase in rapid charger use, finds Zap-Map

An increasing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers are utilising ultra-rapid chargers for en route charging, according to analysis by Zap-Map and TLT.

The charge point mapping service joined forced with law firm TLT to uncover where, when and how UK consumers are charging electric vehicles (EV) – and what this means for the development and funding of the public charging network in future.

According to Zap-Map’s survey – which saw responses from over 4,300 Zap-Map users – around 90% of EV drivers use public charging points: most use the public network on a more or less monthly basis, with some using it much more frequently and others less so. Moreover, the findings also illustrate how the public network is having to provide for quite a variety of needs.

The first of these is ‘en route’ charging, akin to filling up a petrol or diesel car at a service station. These chargers now tend to be ultra-rapid, meaning they can add 60-100 miles within 15 minutes, and are increasingly found in groups of between 6–20 devices.

The findings show that usage of these types of chargers has continued to increase significantly in 2022, with 37% of Zap-Map users now saying they use them, demonstrating high demand for this manner of charging. This is also reflected in the continuing popularity of high-speed charging hubs (used by over a third of drivers), where these ultra-rapid devices are often found.

Zap-Map Co-founder & COO Melanie Shufflebotham, said: “With the UK’s public charging network expanding rapidly, this report in partnership with TLT is key to understanding how the EV landscape is changing in front of our eyes.

“Identifying and acting on current usage patterns across en-route, destination and on-street charging will be crucial for future charge point planning for investors, charge point operators, local authorities and landowners alike. This data is already being collected and can be extremely useful in understanding where the hot spots are and how the key trends are evolving.

“Looking ahead, increased provision of data will enable operators and investors across the UK to piece together an accurate picture of the UK’s charging needs and make the experience of driving an EV as seamless as possible for drivers.”

The survey also revealed rising demand for ‘on-street’ charging – which meets the needs of EV drivers without access to a home charger – as well as consistent use of shorter sessions to top up the battery at destinations such as supermarkets and hotels, known as ‘destination’ charging.

The report sees industry experts share their analysis of Zap-Map survey data, sharing insights into the public charging network and funding landscapes – from taking the temperature on investor confidence through to describing new funding models and where they see the biggest opportunities for growth.

Maria Connolly, head of future energy and real estate at TLT, added: “Our report finds that a mix of charging options is needed to make EVs accessible to as many people as possible. This presents opportunities for the public and private sectors, and will require continued government and regulatory support.

“Drivers also need to be given the tools and information they need to plan their journeys and drive EVs with confidence. Many consumers still have no idea of the range of an EV, and even when they’re told it’s up to 300 miles, they think that’s not enough.

“Investor confidence is growing, and new funding models are emerging, and we can expect to see this continue and further examples of this innovation in the coming year.”

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