The UK has reached an ‘electric’ milestone as 50,000 public chargepoints have been installed across the country, according to the latest figures released by the Department for Transport today.

The target is 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030.

Today’s stats, produced using data supplied to the department by Zapmap, also showing there are 44% more public chargepoints (52,602) than this time last year.

Today’s figures come as the UK’s path to reaching zero-emission vehicles by 2035 is set to come into effect next year. The zero-emission vehicle mandate (ZEV) requires 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030.

The 2035 deadline for the end-of-sale of new diesel and petrol-powered vehicles puts the UK in line with other major global economies, including France, Germany, Sweden and Canada.

Technology and decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, said: ”Passing 50,000 public chargepoints is a key milestone in our journey to zero emission driving and shows the incredible progress we’ve made to provide the infrastructure for drivers to go electric.  

”With government and private sector investment, we are backing drivers by expanding our charging network – creating jobs and putting us well on the way to our target of 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030.”

EVs currently make up 16% of the car market – which the DfT claims is one of the highest shares in Europe and higher than the EU average of 13%.

The DfT said it intended to consult on ways to make installations cheaper and quicker for chargepoint operators, review the grid connections process for chargepoints, and also consult on the expansion of permitted development rights to make installations easier. Additionally, the government’s Connections action plan aims to overhaul the way projects access the electricity grid and reduce delay time, to positively impact all types of connection customers including EV chargepoint operators.

The government says it is also continuing to support the rollout of charging infrastructure in local areas. Applications for the first round of the £381 million Local EV infrastructure fund are currently being assessed. The funding is targeted to deliver tens of thousands more chargepoints and transform the availability of charging for drivers without off-street parking.

In addition, the On-street residential chargepoint scheme (ORCS) is open to all UK local authorities. Grants are also available to help businesses make the transition through the government’s Workplace charging scheme (WCS), as well as people in flats and rented accommodation through the Electric vehicle chargepoint grant. 

Additionally, new laws recently came into force to provide EV drivers with easier and more reliable public charging, mandating that prices across chargepoints are transparent, easy to compare and that a large proportion of new public chargepoints have contactless payment options.

The regulations also require that providers open up their data, so drivers can easily find an available chargepoint that meets their needs. The regulations aim to make it easier for drivers to locate chargepoints, check their charging speeds and determine whether they are working and available for use.

The government says its approach has already attracted record investment in gigafactories and EV manufacturing, including:

  • Nissan’s recent investment of over £3 billion to develop two new electric vehicles at their Sunderland plant
  • Tata’s investment of over £4 billion in a new 40 GWh gigafactory
  • BMW’s investment of £600 million to build next-generation MINI EVs in Oxford
  • Ford’s investment of £380 million in Halewood to make Electric Drive Units
  • Stellantis’ £100 million investment in Ellesmere Port for EV van production