The UK will have more public locations to charge electric cars than petrol stations by 2020, according to car manufacturer Nissan.
The Japanese motor company made the bold statement after some analysis based on declining petrol station figures, which demonstrated that, by the end of 2015, there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the UK, down from a massive 37,539 in 1970.
Assuming a steady rate of decline, Nissan predicted that by August 2020 this will fall to under 7,870.
In stark contrast to the UK’s decline in petrol stations, Nissan found that the number of public electric vehicle charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by the same point in time.
However, the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles means this crossover could happen a lot sooner.
“Just over 100 years since the first fuel station opened – November 1919 at Aldermaston in Berkshire – the number in the UK has peaked, declined and is expected to be overtaken by charging stations designed for battery, not combustion, powered cars,” said the firm.
“More than 75% of UK petrol stations have closed in the last 40 years, whilst the number of electric vehicle charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 4,100 locations in 2016, as electric car sales take off.”
Nissan has obvious motives in promoting the use of electric vehicles. The motor company has sold more electric vehicles than any other car brand worldwide. Its LEAF all-electric car, which – launched in December 2010 – is the world’s all-time best selling highway-capable plug in electric car.
To further make its point, Nissan pointed to Go Ultra Low , a government and car industry campaign campaign that reported more than 115 electric cars were registered every day in the first quarter of 2016, equivalent to one every 13 minutes.
And while the vast majority of electric vehicle owners charge at home, 98% of UK motorway services have charging stations, including rapid connectors that can charge an electric car’s battery to 80% in just 30 minutes.
Edward Jones, EV Manager at Nissan Motor, said: “As electric vehicle sales take off, the charging infrastructure is keeping pace and paving the way for convenient all-electric driving. Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us.
“As with similar breakthrough technologies, the adoption of electric vehicles should follow an ‘S-curve’ of demand. A gradual uptake from early adopters accelerates to a groundswell of consumers buying electric vehicles just as they would any other powertrain.”
In August 2013, Nissan confirmed the company has plans for 5 plug-in vehicles in the future. These 5 include the Nissan LEAF, the Infiniti LE, the Nissan e-NV200, and two not yet announced models
The firm launched the 30kWh LEAF in January, delivering up to 155 miles on a single charge – a range that covers more than 90% of the average daily commuting requirements.
It also recently announced the joint development of an atomic analysis methodology that uses amorphous silicon monoxide to increase the energy density of its lithium-ion batteries.
Nissan believes that this development alone could increase the driving range of future electric vehicles by 150%, adding that all-electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role in helping major cities like London reduce harmful emissions.
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