Not long ago, those advocating the quick demise of the electric car cited range anxiety as the main reason for failure. In their view, the fact that there weren’t enough charging stations to go around, coupled with their slow adoption, meant EVs were bound to fail. How wrong were they?
The accelerated pace with which electric cars and the supporting infrastructure are implemented in some countries leads to developments never believed possible.
This week, the British arm of Nissan admitted its initial prediction that said charging stations would outnumber fuel stations by August next year was wrong. This reality is here now, one year in advance.
As per the numbers provided by the carmaker, there are 8,400 fuel stations on the island, significantly fewer than the 9,300 charging stations already up and running.
That’s 900 units more, and the gap is probably going to get bigger. The number of fuel stations dropped steadily to the current levels from about 18,000 in 1992, while new charging stations are installed at a rate of two per day.
Of the total EV stations, 1,600 provide fast charging solutions, meaning cars can be back on the road with 80 percent battery capacity in minutes.
“We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety with EVs now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs,” said in a statement Nissan UK’s managing director Kalyana Sivagnanam.
“The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”
The trend seen in the UK is a Europe-wide phenomenon. At the end of last year, there were about 100,000 charging stations on the continent. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) estimates the market needs an additional 2 million by 2025 to keep up with demand.