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.

"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

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