Last year electric sales hit a new global sales record with 1 million cars sold. But over half of those sales were in China and it’s thought that a lack of adequate charging station is prohibiting mass adoption of the eco-friendly cars.
Before anyone decides to purchase a new electric car, they obviously need reassurance that they can actually charge it.
In the UK for example, research has shown that there needs to be a sixfold increase in the number of electric vehicle charging points by 2020 to provide adequate infrastructure for green motorists.
Across the UK there are currently only 16,500 charging points and 1,500 rapid chargers, with space to charge 3,400 vehicles. And only 3% of supermarkets have a charging point for electric cars. The number of electric charging stations in the US is still relatively small but is increasing. As of September 2018, there are an estimated 22,000 public charging stations in the US and Canada.
Expanding the charging network is vital if the adoption of electric cars is to expand as the majority of the vehicles have a maximum range of around 100-200 miles before they need to recharge.
The UK government has pledged £440m to expanding charging infrastructure which has coincided with a mandate for twenty-two local authorities to develop plans this year for tackling poor air quality and to look at enforcing Clean Air Zones.
The drop in battery price has made electric cars more attractive to consumers. Between 2008 and 2014 the price has dropped by around 70%. Jaguar, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are all planning on launching electric cars in 2019 but it will be important that customers feel like they have adequate access to charging stations.
Hybrids and electric vehicles made up 5.5% of the UK’s new car market in the first six months of 2018, compared with 4.2% during the same period in 2017 so there is a market for it. Especially with the government’s ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040.