Electric vehicle drivers’ charging habits revealed in new survey

A new survey has revealed the charging habits of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) drivers.

The results showed the vast majority of EV drivers (93%) use the UK’s public charging networks, and 40% use public chargers at least once a week.

The survey found a significant increase in both the installation and usage of high-powered – also known as ultra-rapid – charging devices across the country in 2021.

While rapid chargers (25kW – 99kW) are still used by the most EV drivers overall, the survey found that the usage of ultra-rapid chargers jumped to 27% of EV drivers – up from just 16% the previous years.

In part, this increase in usage is due to the growing number of ultra-rapid chargers that are now available to use, which grew by 60% in 2021. However, it also provides a clear indication that the new ultra-rapids are fulfilling demand from EV drivers travelling longer distances, with most new EVs now able to charge at the higher speed.

While charging hubs demonstrated the most growth in terms of usage, supermarkets and motorway service areas retained the top two positions, with 52% and 50% of respondents respectively saying they regularly used these types of location.

The data also showed that less than 1% of EV drivers would want to go back to petrol or diesel.

Zap-Map, the UK’s leading app and digital platform for EV drivers to search, plan and pay for charging, gathered over 3,000 responses for their survey.

Melanie Shufflebotham, Zap-Map Co-founder & COO, believes the results show that as the number of EV drivers increases, the country's charging network will need to also continue to develop.

She said: “As the number of EV drivers on the road approaches half a million, a robust charging infrastructure is essential and the public charging network is growing and developing to meet these changing needs.

“We know that EV charging use cases are diverse, as the survey makes clear, and we absolutely need a range of charge speeds to match them. However, amongst other considerations, the demand for high-powered chargers revealed in this report indicates that ultra-rapid chargers and charging hubs continue to be a crucial area of investment – for the simple fact that they make long journeys easier.”

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