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Ultra-rapid EV charging surging in popularity, Zap-Map survey finds

Instavolt saw a significant rise in usage in the survey, with the company recently expanding its Banbury site (pictured). Image: InstaVolt.

Instavolt saw a significant rise in usage in the survey, with the company recently expanding its Banbury site (pictured). Image: InstaVolt.

A new survey from Zap-Map has found that while rapid chargers (25kW – 99kW) are still used the most by UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers, the use of ultra-rapid chargers has risen significantly compared to last year.

Having surveyed over 3,000 EV drivers across the UK, Zap-Map found that the use of ultra-rapid chargers has jumped from 16% of EV drivers in last year’s survey to 27%.

This is in part driven by the growing number of ultra-rapid chargers available to use, having grown by 60% in 2021, Zap-Map said, but it also provides a clear indication that new ultra-rapids are fulfilling demand from EV drivers travelling longer distances.

The survey also therefore found that the EV charging networks installing EV charging hubs – which often include rapid or ultra-rapid chargers – saw particularly high increases in demand from EV drivers.

The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway saw 29% of drivers using its network, InstaVolt rose from 26% of EV drivers to 42% of EV drivers and IONITY and Osprey also saw increases.

Earlier today (21 April), GRIDSERVE announced the opening of its latest Electric Forecourt in Norwich, featuring 36 EV chargers, 22 of which offer charging speeds of up to 350kW.

Meanwhile, earlier this month InstaVolt launched what it said was one of the UK’s largest EV charging hubs, having expanded its Banbury site by eight 150KW chargers.

Melanie Shufflebotham, Zap-Map co-founder and COO, said: “We know that EV charging use cases are diverse, as the survey makes clear, and we absolutely need a range of charge speeds to match them.

"However, amongst other considerations, the demand for high-powered chargers revealed in this report indicates that ultra-rapid chargers and charging hubs continue to be a crucial area of investment – for the simple fact that they make long journeys easier.”

While charging hubs demonstrated the most growth in terms of usage in the survey, supermarkets and motorway service areas retained the top two positions, with 52% and 50% of respondents respectively saying they regularly use these types of location.

Overall, the vast majority of EV drivers (93%) said they use the UK’s public charging networks, with 40% using public chargers at least once a week.

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