As part of the Government’s plans to reach net zero by 2050, the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be phased out over the coming years. This has led to an increase in electric vehicle usage, with over 850,000 vehicles registered in the UK. Last year saw the biggest rise, with a 92% increase on the amount of battery electric vehicles compared to 2020. Despite this, there is still a hesitancy around getting an electric vehicle due to the availability of EV chargers in what is known as ‘range anxiety’. However, the rapid growth of EVs has led to an increase in the number of public electric vehicle charging points, as well as the amount of people who have a charger at home.
What is range anxiety?
Range anxiety is the worry that your car won’t have enough power to reach your destination. It can apply to both EV and non-EV drivers but is more common in terms of charging a vehicle rather than refueling it.
However, range anxiety is fast becoming less of a concern – because as EV usage has grown, so has the amount of publicly available EV chargers. The latest figures from leading EV charging app Zap-Map show there are over 31,500 public chargers, with almost 6,000 rapid chargers able to fully charge a vehicle in as little as 20 minutes. This number will only grow as the UK moves away from combustion vehicles.
By using Zap-Map’s live charge point map, you can also see which chargers are available in real time, and also which network they are provided by. This makes it easier to know how to pay, as you can see which charge points take Zap-Pay, which ones take contactless payments, and which require their own payment cards.
What is Zap-Pay?
Zap-Pay is Zap-Map’s own payment system, which allows you to pay for EV charging on multiple networks directly from their app. This makes it easier to charge as you don’t need different cards or apps for different networks. When using the live map, you can search by which charge points can take Zap-Pay or contactless payments and plan your journey accordingly.
As well as the public charge points, the majority of EV owners have an at-home charge point, allowing them to power up overnight or when they are at home. This means, unless they are going on longer journeys, they don’t often need to worry about finding somewhere to charge while they are on the road.
Some people may also choose to make their home EV chargers available to others via the Zap-Home system. The owner sets the access times and decides if it will be available for free or if it will cost the user. These charge points will also be visible on the live map if they are registered under Zap-Home.
The number of home chargers is also set to increase, as the Government has announced that all newly built houses and other buildings will be required to have an EV charger. This will create an extra 145,000 charge points per year and will make it easier for people looking to get an EV. There are also grants available for people in flats or rented properties providing up to £350 or 75% of the cost of a charger.
Can’t charge at home?
Not having access to off-street parking shouldn’t be a barrier to getting an EV, as there are other charging options available. The government has committed £1.6 billion to increasing the amount of public EV chargers in the UK to over 300,000 by 2030, including at least six at each motorway service station.
Misconceptions and lack of understanding around charging and range are some of the biggest barriers to EV ownership. Scientists will soon run the ultimate test for EV journeys by driving a Tesla around the coast of Australia powered only by thin rolls of printed solar panels.
With the increased number of public and home EV chargers, as well as apps such as Zap-Map, drivers can avoid range anxiety.