90% of on-street houses not in easy reach of an EV charger


A recent study published by Field Dynamics, in partnership with Zap-Map, found that roughly 90% of the on-street household population were outside of the five-minute catchment area to an electric vehicle charger – potentially reducing the appeal of switching to e-mobility.

The research highlights the importance of understanding the location of the residents who will rely on public charging before planning residential electric vehicle charging sites. The research demonstrates how a better residential charging service can be achieved by siting chargers in more focused locations and how surprisingly few chargers will be needed.  

The research used advanced Ordnance Survey mapping to identify that nearly 8 million GB households, outside of London, are on-street households in that they do not have off-street parking facilities and will therefore rely on on-street electric vehicle charging when they make the shift to drive electric.

Using data provided by Zap-Map, the study identified 7,563 charger sites outside of London and subsequently analysed the number of “On-Street” households, within a reasonable 5-minute walk of the nearest site.  

The study found that roughly 90% of the On-Street household population were outside of the 5-minute catchment area – potentially reducing the appeal of switching to e-mobility, due to inconvenience or impracticality.  Households with drivers who need on-street charging, who reside outside of this 5-minute catchment area, are also less likely to take advantage of overnight chargers, as the site location is not within a convenient walking distance.

But the research also found that the cost of bridging the gap is not as high you might think. Brighton and Hove Council have achieved 67% coverage of households that require on-street charging provision by placing just 139 chargers. This suggests that most councils will require a few hundred charger sites to ensure there is access to a charger within a 5-minute walk for those residents who will need to access this critical service.

The move to electric vehicles can require huge investment in vehicles, real estate and infrastructure, and the challenge is that these investments need to be made in new, fast moving and unpredictable markets. This study by Field Dynamics highlights the importance of supporting investment in e-mobility with robust and trustworthy data, rather than relying on subjective opinions that are often flawed.

An interactive map of the results can be found here, more details of the study including a white paper can be found here.