Automotive

Nissan says EV charge stations will outnumber gas stations by 2020

EVs are becoming more practical for day-to-day drivers with better range and more charging options
EVs are becoming more practical for day-to-day drivers with better range and more charging options
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Nissan says there could be more EV chargers than gas stations in the UK by 2020
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Nissan says there could be more EV chargers than gas stations in the UK by 2020
EV registration rates are fast growing
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EV registration rates are fast growing
EVs are becoming more practical for day-to-day drivers with better range and more charging options
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EVs are becoming more practical for day-to-day drivers with better range and more charging options
Fast chargers are making it easier to top up an EV on the go
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Fast chargers are making it easier to top up an EV on the go
Nissan is making a big EV push, led by the Leaf
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Nissan is making a big EV push, led by the Leaf

They're fast, quiet and (depending on the energy source) clean, but electric cars still aren't as convenient to run as anything with an internal combustion engine. It only takes five minutes to top up a gas tank, and there are filling stations on almost ever street corner. EV drivers don't always have the luxury of choice when it comes to charging stations, but Nissan thinks they might have more options than petrol devotees when the calendar hits 2020.

Nissan's prediction is based on the decline in the number of petrol stations. Back in 1970, the company says there were 37,539 in the United Kingdom, compared to just 8,472 at the end of last year. According to the researchers, that number could drop as low as 7,870 by 2020.

As the number of petrol stations drops, the number of electric car charge stations is expected to keep growing. At the moment, there's more than 4,100 in the UK, but as EV sale and registration rates keep rising, that number should grow with them.

Fast chargers are making it easier to top up an EV on the go
Fast chargers are making it easier to top up an EV on the go

"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," says Edward Jones, EV Manager at Nissan UK.

"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."

It's worth bearing in mind, there's no mention of what exactly constitutes a charging station. At the moment, a lot of charge points are just made up of one or two plugs in a carpark, meaning the number of actual plugs might not outweigh the number of petrol nozzles out there.

Still, with the advent of fast charging, improved battery range and the growing network of charge points, electricity is quickly becoming more practical as an alternative to petrol power.

Source: Nissan UK

8 comments
zargonis
BOLLOCKS!!... WE HAVE BEEN HEARING THIS FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS AND NOTHING YET.. IT GOES BACK TO THE EV-1 THAT THE BIG OIL CORPS KILLED..
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is great news.
Szysza
Of course there will be thousands more charging points than petrol stations. Main factors contributing to that is range and time.
StuartPoore
aaahh you beat me to it with the bollocks comment! Absolutely right, just wishful thinking on their part. Hoping their massive investment in electric cars will pay off. Still think ev is the Betamax of car propulsion. Something better will replace it.
Stephen N Russell
Need to see MORE, have yet to run across a Tesla charging center anyplace. Mass produce & site nationwide.
Nibblonian
My first thought was "no way!" But read the article closely: "what exactly constitutes a charging station"... I looked at a map of charging station locations here in Los Angeles (granted, where EV and plugin hybrids are fairly common), and there are actually huge numbers of them. The thing is, they don't need to be gathered together on largish lots above large tanks of gasoline beneath them like gas filling stations must be. As the article mentions, they are usually distributed in small groups of one or two, adjacent to parking spaces. They don't take up very much room at all. Again, this is L.A., but there are already more EV charging stations (given the definition as one or two constituting a "station") than there are gas stations in many if not most neighborhoods here. Now, some of these "charging stations" are simply common electric outlets being made available to the public, so maybe they don't count? Even if they don't, I would even venture to say that there about as many "plugs" as "petrol nozzles" right now in this neck of the woods. Will this spread to all parts of the country by 2020? That actually seems possible, now that I have thought about it. I would agree with @Szysza that a contributing factor is having to address the range limitation, but the fact is that there is enormous flexibility in placing the chargers. You can put those things just about anywhere you want. You can't say the same about a gas tank.
GWA111
I have no idea where any of these EV charge stations are. Absolutely none on the central coast NSW Australia. We here seem to be locked in the 1970's, big petrol guzzling beasts and no infrastructure to speak of.
JohnNelson
Wake me up when my per mile "charge" is equal to or cheaper than my gasoline powered Honda Fit that I will get 250,000 miles out of before major maintenance should be needed. Please amortize the cost of the vehicle and any battery packs and their disposal to get to that figure. An E-bicycle is TWICE the price of a good Honda 300 motorcycle, with a fraction of the range...ehh...the starry eyed will choose to belive.