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Top 20 fastest cities to charge your electric car

Rapid electric vehicle charging

With more than 480,000 pure electric cars and 390,000 plug-in hybrids on UK roads, public attention is increasingly turning to our electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Admiral Car Insurance has teamed up with Zap-Map, the UK’s leading EV charge point mapping service, to shine a light on the towns and cities that are currently best served for the two quickest types of charging points, known as rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.

Unlike fossil fuel cars, EVs can recharge almost anywhere – at home, at work and on the public network. With extra flexibility for EVs comes a little added complexity, such as different speeds of chargers and, therefore, different uses for them.

EV drivers charging at home, for instance, typically use what are known as ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ devices to charge up overnight.

In contrast, rapid chargers take between 20 minutes to an hour to add around 100 miles of charge – and are found at many different locations from motorway service areas and fuel forecourts to restaurants, hotels and retail car parks.

Even speedier are ultra-rapid devices, which can around 100 miles of charge in as little as 15 minutes. Useful for drivers undertaking longer journeys, they tend to be found in groups of between six and ten. The analysis saw Birmingham come out on top in this respect, with 39 high-powered ultra-rapid chargers.

As the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars draws ever nearer, and the number of EV owners continues to rise, Admiral’s own data shows the growing popularity of electric vehicles, with drivers insuring 79% more pure electric vehicles (and 20% more hybrid vehicles) in 2022 compared with 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers has also shown promising growth in recent years. While there were just 973 rapid and ultra-rapid devices at the end of 2016, by the end of April 2022 the UK had over 5,750 rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers – more than a 490% increase.1

Particularly important for EV drivers undertaking longer journeys is the increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices over the past year. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the UK has seen a 74% increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices, the quickest available.

Top 20 fastest UK cities to charge your electric car

TownRapidUltra-RapidGrand Total
Nottingham9230122
Milton Keynes1006106
Leeds601777
Birmingham343973
Coventry71 71
Bristol452368
Manchester362662
Sheffield48957
Glasgow46652
Wolverhampton262349
Norwich202848
Dundee36844
Bradford39 39
Exeter102737
Slough72936
Derby201434
Cardiff241034
Banbury52934
Preston31233
Newcastle upon Tyne31233

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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