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Which UK areas have the best EV charging infrastructure?

New research supplied by Independent Advisor Car Insurance has revealed the UK towns that have the best EV charging infrastructure.

The car insurance experts created an index to analyse factors that may influence drivers when switching to EVs, such as paid and free EV charger availability, EV registrations, and charging times across towns and cities in the UK, to reveal where drivers have the best chance at going electric.

The research revealed that Dudley, West Midlands, is the best town to switch to an EV, with 98% of charging points free and one of the fastest charging times in the UK.

In contrast, Peterborough in East England is the tenth best place in the UK to switch to an EV.

The current status of public charging infrastructure in the UK

Electric vehicle charging has recently been a hot topic. From government legislation such as Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and questions around cost benefits to innovative methods of increasing EV charging infrastructure, there is no shortage of talking points regarding EVs in the UK.

Both governments and businesses are starting to realise that boosting EV adoption could be the answer to reducing emissions and reaching net zero targets.

If the UK wants to successfully transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, then a comprehensive and reliable charging infrastructure is paramount.

Many people rely on public EV charging as they don’t have access to it at work and may not have off-street parking at home to have a home charger installed.

Top 10 UK towns with the best EV charging infrastructure

Dudley is the best town in the UK to switch to electric, with a final EV readiness score of 8.11 out of ten. Whilst it may only have 83 EV chargers (2,398 people per charger), 98% of those are free to use, helping residents save money on charging costs.

© shutterstock/Es sarawuth

The charging points in the town are also amongst the fastest in the UK on average (2 hours 29 minutes) – proving that cost and speed is a major selling point for Dudley’s EV charging infrastructure.

In second place is Nottingham, with a final score of 7.85. Despite lengthy average charging times for EVs, the city is amongst the top ten in the UK for charger availability (1,135 people per charger).

Moreover, people living in Nottingham can also enjoy an impressive 98% of free charging points.

Slough’s average power output of chargers and over one hour quicker charging time than Nottingham places it as the third-best city for EV ownership (7.67 out of ten). The high percentage of free charging points distribution (95%) also makes up for its disappointing spread of charger availability (2,824 per charger).

What are the least incentivised areas for EV ownership?

Overall, Blackpool is the town most struggling to encourage the public to change to electricity, with an EV readiness score of only 1.81 out of ten. The Lancashire seaside town has just 14 EV charging points available, equating to more than 17,000 residents per charger.

Despite the hurdles, drivers in Blackpool wait 3 hours and 21 minutes to charge their electric vehicles – 33 minutes less than those in nearby Preston, where the charging time averages 3 hours and 54 minutes.

Huddersfield placed second worst within the rankings thanks to an EV readiness score of just 1.98. Charging time is significantly lower in the Yorkshire town (2 hours 20 minutes), which can be attractive for those looking to switch to an EV.

However, there are nearly 10,000 residents per EV charger (15), but, more discouragingly, just 20% of these offer free charging.

Middlesbrough’s high waiting times for EV charging (4 hours 36 minutes) places it as the third town that is most struggling to encourage the public to change to electric. Also contributing to its low EV readiness score of 2.01 out of ten is the low percentage of free charging points on offer (21%).

On average, 70% of charging points across the 88 towns and cities analysed are free. Huddersfield is also the third worst area for access to free EV charging infrastructure, beaten only by Hastings (11%) and Liverpool (19%).