We all want to play our part in tackling the climate crisis – and switching to an electric vehicle (EV) has become an increasingly popular choice for many drivers. However, it can sometimes feel as if the newspapers are full of stories which are critical of EVs and how they fit in with our modern lifestyles. Is now really the right time to ditch your fossil fuel car and go electric?

According to the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), as of the end of January there were more than 680,000 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) registered in the UK, with more than 265,000 registered last year alone – growth of 40% on 2021.

Used-car sales declined overall, but not EVs. They performed better than ever, with a rise of 37.5% in the number of BEV transactions.

The vast majority of EV drivers are happy with their decision – almost nine in ten are satisfied with their pure-electric vehicles, higher than the seven in ten for petrol and diesel, and just 2% would even consider reverting to an internal combustion engine.

 For a fact-based perspective, take a look at the latest findings from our partners at Zap-Map, the UK’s leading charge point mapping service.

Growth in on-street chargers

According to Zap-Map’s annual survey, an impressive 84% of respondents now have a home charger, but most drivers continue to use the UK’s public charging networks on a regular basis, with the most popular locations being supermarket car parks, motorway service stations and charging hubs.

For those unable to charge at home due to a lack of off-street parking or a garage, drivers need access to on-street devices.

Often found on residential streets, their numbers increased by 36%, from 8,842 devices to 12,009.

Growth in ultra-rapid chargers

Drivers travelling long journeys and looking to charge as quickly as possible will be pleased to learn that the number of ultra-rapid chargers increased by 78% last year, from 1,290 at the end of 2021 to 2,295 at the end of 2022.

In addition, there’s less chance of having to wait to charge, thanks to a 56% increase in the number of high-speed charging hubs, which consist of four or more rapid or ultra-rapid devices, from 189 locations to 295 during the same period.

This included a 44% increase in the number of hubs with seven or more devices, from 89 to 128.

In total at the end of January, there were more than 37,800 EV charging points across the UK, spread across more than 22,300 charging locations. This represents a 31% increase in the total number of charging devices since January 2022.

‘Dual-fuel drivers’ prefer to use their EV

The cost of using public chargers has increased due to the energy crisis but drivers can still make significant savings compared to filling up at a petrol pump.

Zap-Map found that a third of EV drivers also own a petrol or diesel car, but electric is still favoured for all kinds of journey.

This is because an EV driver will only charge on the most expensive rapid or ultra-rapid chargers for a fraction of the time, as many can charge at home or take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates.

The type of journey electric is most likely to be used for is a local daily trip such as going shopping, the school run or eating out, for which 85% of the time dual-fuel drivers will take the EV.

For commutes, 71% of these drivers use their EV, and even for journeys of over a hundred miles 67% will stick with electric. Even for UK-based holidays – likely to involve long cross-country journeys reliant on the public charging network – a majority of 55% will leave the fossil fuel car at home.

The evidence shows that public charging is growing, running costs are still lower and EV drivers are overwhelmingly happy with their vehicles. And that’s before you consider your impact on climate change and cleaner air.

You’ll find all the latest charging statistics, updated monthly, at www.zap-map.com/statistics

And you can sign up to our monthly newsletter, Good Thinking, for regular news stories about EVs, renewables and more ways to live a greener life.