Market Insight

How to find land for EV chargepoints

Demand for electric vehicle charging sites is growing exponentially. Here we explore some of the best opportunities for developers, for building the future network of EV charge points in the UK.

Hugh Gibbs
February 6, 2024

Demand for electric vehicle charging sites is big news for developers. With the sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans being phased out by 2035, electric powered (EV) vehicles are set to take over the private transport sector. As a result, the Geospatial Commission confirms at least 300,000 public EV charge points will be needed to meet demand. According to EV resource provider zapmap, at the the end of January 2024, there were 55,301 electric vehicle charging points in the UK across 31,445 charging locations. So there is still a way to go.

Where are the best opportunities for EV charge point providers?

Charging points are typically located close to existing transport infrastructure, such as in service stations, garage forecourts, supermarkets and retail parks, in both urban and rural locations. Fast charge hubs, set on strategic transport routes, also offer big returns for those looking for development opportunities at scale.

Breakdown of EV chargepoint locations in the UK:

  • 24,121 were designated as ‘destination’ chargers, this represents 45% of all charging devices
  • 20,705 were designated as ‘on street’ chargers, this represents 39% of all charging devices

(Official Statistics Electric vehicle public charging infrastructure statistics: January 2024. Published 31 January 2024)

The 46% increase in the total number of charging devices since January 2023 of UK chargepoint sites has been largely led by private operators: charging networks and other private businesses (e.g. tourism venues) who are choosing where to install devices. As a result - according to the Department for Transport (DFT) - there will be gaps in some network locations, particularly for local, on-street charging. This gap offers opportunities for local chargepoint specialists - including for collaboration.

Maps 1 and 2: Total and 50kW and above public charging devices per 100,000 of population by UK region 1 January 2024
Maps 1 and 2: Total and 50kW and above public charging devices per 100,000 of population by UK region 1 January 2024

How developers can work with local authorities

In order to make charging more accessible the government have provided support via the local electric vehicle infrastructure (LEVI) fund for eligible local authorities to apply to and the OZEV EV chargepoint grant, which provides up to £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point.

A specific challenge, however, for LPAs is finding the right land in built up residential areas. On-street charging relies on direct, safe, cable access. It is also unsuitable for high density locations, or where parking is not normally allowed. 

This is where Searchland’s all-in-one, data driven site sourcing platform comes in.

EC charge layer in Searchland - showing charge points across the UK
Searchland's EV layer shows the location of EV chargers across the UK

Challenges to EV site sourcing for developers 

Site selection depends on various factors, including:

  • Site specific planning constraints
  • Current and future demand
  • Access to sufficient power for charging

Much time and effort can be wasted in assessing potential sites, using data from multiple sources, then engaging with planners, charge point operators, landowners and distribution network operators (DNOs), before a decision can be made.

How Searchland can help you find EV charging sites

Searchland’s automated platform lets developers quickly and easily carry out all their EV site sourcing work, from one centralised location, including:

  • Finding off-street sites with suitable access.
  • Assessing potential constraints, such as flooding risks.
  • Sourcing ownership details of each site. 
  • UK DNO infrastructure and capacity for EV schemes. 
  • EV layer, roads and transportation layers - showing all EV sites and road networks in the any given area.
  • Proximity tool to find sites within close proximity to motorways and service stations.
  • Traffic volume data to identify locations that have high levels of passing vehicle traffic.

Using Searchland's data also means being able to link up multiple, separate information sources across the whole of the UK – ideal for national network operators.

Create a bespoke EV search using Searchland's sourcing tool

Making data driven decisions with Searchland

As part of the UK Government’s focus on achieving net zero, Searchland was thrilled to be featured in “Getting To The Point”, a recent report by the Geospatial Commission, on the role of location-based data in sourcing EV chargepoint sites. As the report confirms: “by making this data available through a single, searchable platform, users can save significant time previously spent searching multiple sources.” 

We couldn’t say it better ourselves. For more information on how Searchland’s data can help you source renewables development sites, reach out to speak with one of our team. 

Hugh Gibbs
July 9, 2024

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