Westminster gains 500 EV chargers, as postcode lottery leaves other regions lacking

Westminster will soon have the most Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers in the country, as government figures reveal the Levelling Up agenda is not effectively tackling regional differences in access to charge points. 

Westminster City Council has committed to fitting 500 more charging points by March 2023, nearly doubling the number available and taking the total in the area to over 2,000. 

This comes after the council received a large amount of external funding from central government to supply more resident charging points, with plans to install a further 500 throughout the rest of 2023.

However, regions outside London are being largely left behind, with Zap Map, an app locating EV chargers, showing that Greater London currently has the largest share, with 31.7% of the UK’s charging points.

black metal stand on gray concrete road during daytime

The latest government figures from July also show that Northern Ireland has the least amount of publicly available charge points, with just 17 per every 100,000 people. The North West is just behind this, with 27 chargers for every 100,000 people. 

Research by insurer Zurich UK has shown this regional divide is also having an impact on small businesses, slowing down their ability to switch to electric fleets.

The company found that there is just one public charge point available for every 56 SMEs, with small businesses in Greater Manchester having access to the least chargers, leaving 237 firms competing for each one.

Essex was found to have the next lowest amount of chargers, with 203 firms competing for each charger, followed by Surrey at 169.

Will Edwards, Zurich’s Head of SME, said: ‘SMEs have a huge and vital role to play in helping the UK reach the Government’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. With lower running costs and exemption from many charges that apply to combustion-engine vehicles, switching to an electric fleet should be an easy decision for SMEs. However, the shortage of chargepoints in many UK regions and counties could prevent SMEs from making the leap.

‘Furthermore, regional disparities in access to charging infrastructure may hinder the ability of small firms to do business, or their desire to invest, in some parts of the UK.

‘We need to see a levelling up of public charging infrastructure, so all businesses, irrespective of where they are located, can benefit from the EV revolution and also meet sustainability targets.’

The government’s Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme is seeking to change this, with nine councils, such as Dorset and Warrington, set to receive funding to deliver 1,000 charge points across the areas.

Photo by Roger Starnes Sr


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