The UK’s best and worst cities for EV charging revealed

New analysis has revealed the UK cities with the best charging provision for owners of electric cars, as well as those that are falling behind.

The data shows that while in some cities there is one charger for every 23 EVs, in others, 268 drivers will have to compete for access to a single public charging point.

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The Government recently announced more details of its £500 million Rapid Charging Fund, which aims to encourage EV uptake by improving the country’s infrastructure. It says that by 2023 all motorway service stations in England will have at least six ultra-rapid 150kW chargers.

However, the latest announcement only covers provision on motorways and major A roads, rather than city centres. To see how prepared major cities are for a rise in EV adoption, comparison service Uswitch, gathered data on EV ownership and charging infrastructure from around the country.

There remain significant differences in the level of public charging provision around the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)There remain significant differences in the level of public charging provision around the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)
There remain significant differences in the level of public charging provision around the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

It found that with one charger for every 22.9 EVs, Bristol is the UK’s best city for public charging provision. Milton Keynes, which has been a hub of EV and infrastructure testing, was close behind, with one charger for every 23.4 EVs, just ahead of Dundee (28 cars per charger), Oxford (28.5) and Brighton (28.6).

The analysis looked at the number of chargers per postcode area, the number of drivers in the area and the total number of EVs registered in the UK.

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It showed that EV owners in the Midlands and England’s north-west were worst catered for. Stoke-on-Trent has just one point per 268 cars. Southend was the second-worst provisioned city, with a ratio of 201.8 EVs per charger, ahead of Birmingham (174.9 cars per charger). Wolverhampton (164:1) and Bolton (161.3:1) complete the list of the five worst cities for charger provision.

Comparing the most recent data to a previous study in April 2019, some cities have made significant progress on improving their infrastructure. Coventry had made the biggest changes in provisions over the last year, installing more than 140 new charging stations - a rise of 293 per cent. Sheffield (up 147 per cent) and Derby (up 142 per cent) also made significant progress.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at, said: “It’s a really exciting time to be an EV driver. This research suggests that the Rapid Charging Fund could have a significant impact for drivers across the UK - especially for those living in cities such as Stoke-on-Trent, Southend and Birmingham who are thinking about purchasing one.

“The funding will be instrumental in delivering a more sustainable future for the nation’s transport. It’s crucial though that this investment is spent wisely and is targeted towards the regions that need the funding most.

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“While there is no obvious regional divide across the UK, it’s clear some locations are more prepared than others. We look forward to seeing how these changes can help bridge the gaps and impact what vehicles we see on our roads in the years to come.”