As we edge towards the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel car sales, sales of EV vehicles have made up just 15.7% of the market share in 2023[1]. The main reason for this being the lack of accessible charge points, putting drivers off the switch. While there is room for improvement in EV infrastructure across the country, which city is currently best suited for electric driving? And which brands are embracing the electric car revolution?

To find out, we analysed government data to determine which cities and areas you’re most likely to find charging points and the areas where infrastructure is needed. Here we consider the total number of EV stations in major stores, popular public areas, and workspaces across UK cities.

Where to Charge Your Car When You’re Shopping

Overall Tesco is the most EV-friendly brand. The major retailer has 774 EV stations in the UK, almost two thirds more than Morrisons (273). In bottom place, IKEA have a total of 25 EV chargers across their UK stores. While they have significantly fewer stores compared to top supermarket brands like Tesco, the probability of getting a charging spot whilst visiting the furniture store is less likely as most stores only have one charger.

Charging your car in a store car park is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Tesco in Manchester has more EV chargers than in any other cities, with 23 charge station available to shoppers, whilst in London Tesco stores only offer 14 charge stations throughout the city.

Elsewhere, Bradford has the highest amount of Aldi EV charging stations (9), and London has the spoil of Lidl’s (18) and Sainsbury’s EV ports (20).  

You’ll struggle to find an EV charging port at a Waitrose outside of London. The upmarket store has EV stations in only 13% of UK towns and cities: while London has 23 chargers, in second place, Markham Moor has 5. However, if you live in Dunblane, Beckenham, Stoke or Newcastle, you are unlikely to find and EV charger at any major supermarket.

Planning to furniture shop? 16 of IKEA’s 27 UK stores feature EV charging ports, with visitors having the most chance at securing a spot on a charger at Reading where there are 3 charging spots.

Where to Charge an Electric Vehicle if You’re Out for the Day

When you’re out for the day, you’ll see a fair few EV charging stations in London. The capital boasts 7000 EV chargers, with 87% of these being on-street (6,096), public car parks (237), and NHS property EV charging facilities (20).

Elsewhere, Coventry has the second-highest number of EV charge points (831). Of this, 736 are on street facilities — an impressive feat for a city its size. If exercise is on the cards, Nottingham is on par with London, boasting 46 leisure centre EV stations.

Chances are you’ll be able to charge your car in one of Manchester’s retail parks. The rainy city has 5% share of EV stations at retail parks (93) in comparison to London which has 75 chargers spread across its retail parks.

The Cities With the Most Workspace EV Charging Stations

If you own an electric vehicle, a workplace charging station or nearby car park can make your commute easier. London has the largest share of charging docks at workplaces, with 107 scatted around the capital. Numbers significantly drop in other regions. Dundee has the second highest with 18 workplace stations, while only 29% of UK towns and cities have even just 1 workplace charging point.

Use park and ride? You’ll find more charging points in Nottingham’s park and ride stations than anywhere else. Leicester and London take second and third spots with 15 and 14 EV stations. There aren’t too many EV stations in NCP car parks currently, with only 81 in the UK, but you’re most likely to come across them in London (20), Bolton (9) or Manchester (9). Out of the 20 cities in the UK with EV chargers at an NCP car park, 8 of these locations only have 1 charger available.

But although there’s limited electric charging at Southampton’s NCP car parks, Southampton’s airport EV facilities are more up to date. In fact, Southampton Airport has the most EV charging stations in the UK (13) after Heathrow (35), accounting for 14%% of the airport EV station distribution. Newcastle is close behind with 12, while London’s airports combined have 41 between them.

What Have We Learned?

Although the UK EV charging infrastructure has a way to go, we’ve learned it’s easiest to charge your vehicle in London and Birmingham. Tesco is leading the way in retail, boasting more EV ports than any other major store. And finally, on-street parking is the most accessible form of charging, with a 71.5% share of UK stations.

Are you looking to install EV chargers? Direct 365 has launched an EV-charging product, giving employees access to charging units at work headquarters. Learn more here.

Sources

[1] https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-12161787/UK-car-industry-enjoys-longest-period-growth-eight-years.html

Methodology

The data was taken from GOV.UK data and pivot tables created for different measurement dimensions and ranked accordingly.

Data was ranked in terms of:

  • Number of chargers by store
  • Number of chargers by store and location
  • Number of chargers by type and location

Notes:

IKEA claim on their website that each of their 27 UK stores have an EV charge point, however GOV.UK records only list 25 chargers.

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