Coventry, Bristol and Slough among the best places for electric car charging, says Zap-Map


Coventry, Bristol and Slough are among the cities best served by fast-charging electric vehicle facilities, according to new research by Admiral Car Insurance and Bristol-based EV charge point mapping service Zap-Map.

The five cities with the most rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leeds, Birmingham and Coventry.

Nottingham currently enjoys a fairly comfortable lead, with a grand total of 122 rapid and ultra-rapid chargers at the end of April, over Milton Keynes with 106. Coventry has 71, Bristol 68, and Slough 36.

Unlike fossil fuel cars, EVs can recharge almost anywhere – at home, at work and on the public network. With extra flexibility for EVs comes a little added complexity, such as different speeds of chargers and, therefore, different uses for them.

EV drivers charging at home, for instance, typically use what are known as ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ devices to charge up overnight.

In contrast, rapid chargers take between 20 minutes to an hour to add around 100 miles of charge – and are found at many different locations from motorway service areas and fuel forecourts to restaurants, hotels and retail car parks.

Even speedier are ultra-rapid devices, which can add more or less 100 miles of charge in around 15 minutes. Useful for drivers undertaking longer journeys, they tend to be found in groups of between six and ten. The analysis saw Birmingham come out on top in this respect, with 39 high-powered ultra-rapid chargers.

As the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars draws ever nearer, and the number of EV owners continues to rise, Admiral’s own data shows the growing popularity of electric vehicles, with drivers insuring 79 per cent more pure-electric vehicles (and 20 per cent more hybrid vehicles) in 2022 compared with 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers has also shown promising growth in recent years. While there were just 973 rapid and ultra-rapid devices at the end of 2016, by the end of April 2022 the UK had over 5,750 rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers – more than a 490 per cent increase.

Particularly important for EV drivers undertaking longer journeys is the increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices over the past year. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the UK has seen a 74 per cent increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices, the quickest available.

With this in mind, Admiral has partnered with Zap Map to help drivers find the location of the country’s fastest EV charging points with their EV charging map.

Clare Egan, head of motor product at Admiral, said: “The 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars is fast approaching. As Admiral’s own insurance data shows, electric cars are only growing in popularity so public attention should increasingly turn to the UK’s EV charging network.

“While most EVs will charge overnight at home, many people driving longer distances will need to charge up as quickly as possible. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Zap-Map to find the speediest cities to charge your car.

“Those of us making cross-country trips this summer now know that the Midlands is a great place to recharge the battery and grab a quick coffee before getting back on the road for a well-deserved break.”

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder & COO at Zap-Map, said: “As the number of pure-electric cars on the road approaches half a million, a robust charging network is critical. Over the past few years there has been huge investment in high-powered chargers and it’s great to see many cities across the UK having a strong provision.

“There are of course a range of different needs when it comes to charging an EV, but continued investment in high-powered chargers for longer journeys is crucial as the number of EVs on the road continues to grow at pace.

“Nottingham may well be leading the charge in this area right now, but it will certainly be interesting to see which city takes the top spot in two years’ time.”