New survey reveals key trends in thriving EV market

The UK’s leading electric vehicle (EV) mapping service, Zap-Map, today published its market-leading EV Charging Survey, a comprehensive look at the state of Britain’s EV charging network.

The report reveals new trends in EV charging behaviour in the UK, based on the experience of 2,200 drivers who responded to the survey.

One of the new trends is the rise of high-powered charge points.

In 2020, 16% of EV drivers used ultra-rapid chargers, up from 3% the year before. Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in rollout of these charge points; there are now 788 ultra-rapid chargers across the country, up from 476 at the end of 2019. These charge points cut the average charge time compared to a standard 50-kilowatt rapid charger by half.

Most of the latest EV models such as VW ID range, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona and Vauxhall Corsa-e can take advantage of these higher charge speeds.

The survey also found that the 50-kilowatt rapid chargers remain the most popular - 64% of respondents use these devices which can add 100 miles of range in around 25 mins.

Dr Ben Lane, co-founder and chief technical officer at Zap-Map, noted:

"This new report comes at a crucial time for the EV market. Competition among car manufacturers and charge point operators is becoming fierce and the industry is growing fast. The insights in this year’s wide-ranging report show that EV drivers are adapting to changes in the market.

"One of the clear conclusions is the importance of having a robust and reliable charging network. As the number of EVs continues its upward march, it’s vital that drivers are offered the simplest and smoothest experience possible."

Another key trend from the report is how drivers are now using the public network.

The survey found that while 83% of EV drivers regularly charge at home, 90% also use the public charging network, with 39% using the public network at least once a week. This overall usage has fallen from the 2019 figure of 94%, most likely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on driving patterns and car usage.

In addition, over 48% of respondents now charge at supermarkets, closely followed by motorway service stations (47%) and public car parks (32%). In previous years, motorway service stations have been the most popular location types. It is thought that the increase in the number of charge points available at supermarkets – now standing at 1631 chargers in 952 locations – combined with the availability of free charging at some of the major chains are driving this shift.

Other key findings from the report include a new top 16 ranking of charging networks based on driver satisfaction, the fact that EV drivers don’t switch back (less than 1% want a return to petrol or diesel), and growing issues around accessibility for disabled users.

About the survey:

The 50-page report, which includes 40 data slides, is available in PDF format and presents the results from the survey conducted in 2020, together with findings from previous annual surveys in 2017-2020. The content of the report is structured in six sections: Survey overview, EV charging at home, EV charging at work, EV charging on public network, Sample data, and Zap-Map database.

A summary report is available to download for free, while the full EV Charging Survey Report is available at an introductory price of £530+VAT (a 33% discount for the first 25 reports sold) and thereafter at the standard price of £795+VAT. Claim the 33% discount by applying the code ZAPMAP33 during checkout.

Ben Lane

Author:Ben Lane
Date Updated:11th Feb 2021

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