EV charging hubs on the increase

Wales’ largest EV charging hub to date: the Denbighshire Hub in Rhyl.

While anxiety about the availability of public charging points continues to discourage drivers from buying EVs, there is mixed progress on providing facilities across the UK.

One of the latest additions to the EV network is from bp pulse, which has activated eight ultra-fast 150kW chargers at its Pimlico electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in the underground Q-Park near Victoria Station, with capacity to accommodate 16 vehicles. Installation was by UKPN Services, involving a new substation, 660 metres of new cabling and a 1.5-megawatt electricity supply, together with new hardware and management software.

Meanwhile, Wales has opened its largest EV hub to date, in Rhyl, Denbighshire, with a mix of 50 and 7kW chargers serving up to 36 vehicles simultaneously, aimed at travellers using the town’s railway station. But the patchiness of EV hub roll-outs is illustrated by the neighbouring mainline stations of Colwyn Bay, with no EV chargers, and Llandudno, with a single 22kW connection.

EV charging on motorways is similarly sporadic – especially where speed of ‘re-fuelling’ is important to drivers. Research by the RAC revealed that at the end of 2023, the government had failed to hit its target of six or more rapid or ultra-rapid chargers at every service station in England.

The RAC reported that just 46 (39%) of 119 motorway services had the target number of chargers above 50kW by December 31 – up from only 27 (23%) at the end of April.

At year end, 18 service areas had no rapid charging above 50kW, with four having no charging facilities whatsoever: Leicester Forest on both sides of the M1, Tebay South on the M6, and Barton Park on the A1(M).

The expansion of the EV charging infrastructure is certainly gathering pace in 2024. But there is still has a long way to go before many motorists feel confident to switch to electric.