Two years ago, the UK government rolled out a £400 million ($633 million) plug-in car incentive package that included £37 million ($58 million) to build EV charging stations across the small island nation. By some standards, the incentives have proven a big success, with over 57,000 EV charging stations all across the UK… which was about twice the number of actual electric cars. But that is changing, and fast.
The Independent reports that Britain has some 57,567 publicly-funded EV charging stations, many of which are rarely, if ever used. That’s because, as of December 2014, which The Independent based its data on, there were just over 24,000 plug-in cars registered in the UK, though sales of plug-in cars surged last year with over 14,000 sales. That market momentum has carried into 2015 with over 11,000 plug-in car registrations in the UK since January. That throws the numbers way out of whack, with some 35,000 registered plug-in cars on the road for the 57,000 charging stations.
While that’s still a substantial gap, if this sales pace keeps up, there could be a plug-in car for every British EV charging station by this time next year. Leading the sales charge has been the highly regarded Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, though the availability of dozens of new plug-in models has helped swing things in favor of plug-in vehicles. If this sales momentum keeps up, things will soon be on the other foot, and those 57,000 charging stations won’t seem like nearly enough.