As EV adoption accelerates, some parts of the world already have more charging facilities than gas stations, including Japan and Manhattan.
Now Nissan is predicting that the UK will follow suit by 2020. The maker of the LEAF (and a tireless promoter and financer of public charging stations) forecasts that in 2020 there will be around 7,870 petrol stations in the UK, and over 7,900 public charging locations.
The UK’s first fuel station opened in 1919, and the number peaked in the 1970s. More than 75% of UK petrol stations have closed in the last 40 years, whilst the number of EV charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 4,100 locations in 2016.
Within Central London’s congestion-charge zone, only four petrol stations remain. The historic Bloomsbury Service Station, which opened in 1926, closed in 2008.
Meanwhile, EV charging points proliferate. 98% of UK motorway services locations (akin to American rest stops, but with fuel stations, restaurants, etc.) have EV charging stations, including DC fast chargers.
“As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving,” said Edward Jones, Nissan’s EV Manager for the UK. “Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us. As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.”