Electric car drivers are changing the way they charge. According to the Zap-Map EV Charging Survey, 85 percent of EV drivers now use fast chargers, and 86 percent use non-Tesla rapid chargers. That’s up 13 percent compared with 2016.
Overall usage of the public EV network is stable, at 94 percent, as is the use of slower chargers. This indicates that demand is increasing specifically for faster charging facilities.
Fortunately, numbers of such facilities are on the rise. Fast and rapid EV charger networks have grown by 27 and 43 percent respectively over the past year.
EV charging time has increased
Drivers are also spending more time plugged in. Rapid units have seen a 16 percent increase in users charging for more than 40 minutes. Similarly, the number of people using a charger for less than 40 minutes has fallen by 18 percent.
Electric car drivers seem to be charging more often, too. The survey suggests drivers are arriving at stations with a higher percentage of battery power left.
Why is EV charging behaviour changing?
Electric car ownership is transitioning from niche to norm, and this data shows it happening in real-time. Electric cars are occupying similar silhouettes to contemporary petrol and diesel cars, and approaching contemporary range capabilities. There’s a stark difference between a G-Wiz and a Tesla Model 3.
Because the cars are becoming ‘normal’, so too are the usage habits. No longer are they confined to short journeys in urban environments. Long road-trips are becoming more common. So too is plugging in frequently, to faster charging units, over longer periods of time.
As for why people are charging up more regularly, it’s thought that nervous new-adopters are being careful about range.
“In a market which is doubling every two years, quality information is an essential commodity with which to track and monitor emergent trends,” said Dr Ben Lane, CTO at Zap-Map.
“Our objective with the annual EV Charging Survey is to provide just such data to accelerate the EV market in the UK and beyond.”