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EV charging bays to outnumber fuel stations by 2020, says Nissan

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Japanese car maker Nissan has claimed electric vehicle (EV) charging bays will outnumber petrol stations by the summer of 2020, as surging uptake in EVs demands more significant infrastructure.

The manufacturer of the Leaf EV, which earlier this year unveiled plans to move into residential and commercial battery storage, predicts that numbers of operational fuel stations for cars will continue to fall over the next four years.

At the end of last year there were 8,472 fuel stations in the UK, a significant drop on the 37,000 that were operational in 1970. Nissan expects this to fall to around 7,800 by August 2020, with EV charging points to reach 7,900 in the same time frame. There are estimated to be around 4,000 EV charging points in the UK today.

Nissan also suggested its estimate is a conservative one, and that far greater adoption of EVs could see the crossover point come sooner.

Edward Jones, EV manager at Nissan, said EV charging infrastructure is keeping pace with the demand for electric vehicles. “Combine that with constant improvements in our battery performance and we believe the tipping point for mass EV uptake is upon us," he said.

"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."

Earlier this year Bloomberg New Energy Finance said global sales of electric vehicles would surge to more than one million per year by 2040, with the vehicles set to become a more economic option than traditional gasoline or diesel-fuelled cars during the 2020s. 

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