The shift toward electric mobility is accelerating at a remarkable pace globally, both in terms of vehicles and infrastructure. The latest evidence comes from a country on the other side of the Altantic, where the number of charging stations now exceeds the number of gas stations.
We’re not even talking about Norway, the EV paradise where approximately half of all new cars sold are plug-in models and the Nissan LEAF is the overall best-selling vehicle.
This story is about the U.K., home of Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and other car companies known for their gas-guzzling cars and SUVs.
Gas stations over there have been steadily disappearing for the past five decades, currently totalling about 8,400. And according to data published by Nissan, 9,300 public charging stations exist in that country.
There are now just four gas stations in London’s Congestion Charge zone (where most drivers who don’t have an ultra-low-emission vehicle need to pay a daily charge of about $19), while Transport for London has installed more than 1,000 charge points in the past year.
How far behind are we in North America? According to The Kent Group’s 2018 National Retail Petroleum Site Census, there are 11,929 gas stations in Canada versus around 6,000 stations where you can fill your ride with electrons—a 2-to-1 ratio. The latter are mainly found in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
South of the border, things are even worse. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us there are 168,000 gas stations, approximately seven times more than the 22,408 charging stations reported by the U.S. Alternative Fuels Data Center.