Coventry revealed as UK’s best city for electric vehicles

Coventry revealed as UK’s best city for electric vehicles

Posted 21 January, 2022 at 14:30

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of (IFM) Independent Forecourt Magazine


One of the UK’s leading personal finance guidance platforms has revealed that Coventry has overtaken Sunderland as the best city to own an electric vehicle (EV), with the former EV capital of the UK coming in second place, followed by Newcastle

Portsmouth was lowest ranked, with Leicester and Liverpool among the worst

The study looked at 20 of the biggest cities in the UK and ranked each based on the average cost to charge an EV, the number of rapid charging points per vehicle and the number of standard and rapid charging points per 100,000 people

The experts also provided information on insuring EVs and what potential buyers should take into consideration

With nearly 750,000 new EVs registered in 2021*, personal finance guidance and comparison website Forbes Advisor has researched where in the UK is the best place to own an EV, so potential drivers can make an informed purchase.

The research, conducted by Forbes Advisor, used data from 20 of the most populated cities** in the UK and ranked each city based on four EV metrics: cost of charging an EV at home, number of standard and rapid EV charging points per 100,000 people, and the number of rapid charging points per registered EV in the area.

Based on this data, each location was assigned an ‘EV Accessibility Rating’ out of 80, with Coventry coming out on top, scoring 70/80, and Portsmouth ranking lowest with a score of 27/80. London scored 49/80. 

The 10 best cities to own an EV, with their ‘EV Accessibility Rating’ are:

  1. Coventry - 70
  2. Sunderland - 67
  3. Newcastle - 63
  4. Leeds - 56
  5. Middlesbrough - 52 
  6. London - 49
  7. Reading - 49
  8. Sheffield - 46 
  9. Glasgow - 44
  10. Cardiff - 39

More information on the best cities to own an EV can be found here - https://www.forbes.com/uk/advisor/car-insurance/ev-does-it-uks-top-cities-for-electric-vehicle-ownership/ 

Glasgow has made the biggest improvement in its EV infrastructure over the past year, increasing the number of charging points per 100,000 people by 18.5% and installing 10 new rapid charging points. The investment has resulted in the Scottish city jumping from 16th in the UK to 9th. 

The average cost of charging an EV was taken into account, with Belfast by far the cheapest city to run an electric vehicle, however the Northern Irish capital only has 15.5 charging points per 100,000 residents. Liverpool was discovered to be the priciest place to drive an EV, with the average cost to charge a 60 kWh battery coming out at £14.62.

Car insurance experts at Forbes Advisor answered some FAQs that potential buyers may have when it comes to purchasing and insuring an EV…

  • Is an electric vehicle more expensive to insure?

EVs can attract higher insurance premiums due to replacement parts and skilled labour being more expensive, plus they may be in higher car insurance groups than comparable ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. But any price differentials should narrow as EVs become more common.

  • Are battery and charging equipment covered?

Yes, it is possible to insure your battery and charging equipment. Many insurers include cover for the battery regardless of whether you own it or lease it.

  • How many public charging devices are there in the UK?

According to Department of Transport data, as of 1 January 2022****** there were 28,375 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK. Of that total, 5,156 were rapid chargers. This represents an overall increase since 1 October 2021 of 2,448 devices - a 9% rise. The number of rapid devices increased by 233, up 5%. There was an increase in total and rapid devices across all regions of the UK. Since 1 January 2021, the number of public devices has increased by 37%, corresponding to 7,600 devices. The number of rapid devices has increased by 33%, with an additional 1,276 units.

  • What to do if the battery runs flat while on the road?

This concern has been termed ‘range anxiety’ and it is common with EV users. When it comes to insurance, some EV policies offer breakdown cover should the battery run flat while on the road.

  • Should I buy or lease an EV battery?

Some people choose to buy the car but lease the battery as this can reduce the overall cost. It can also provide peace of mind for drivers to know that, if they lease the battery and something goes wrong, it is the leasing company’s responsibility. However, most new EVs are sold complete with the battery.

  • How does the weather affect my EV?

Extreme weather may impact the performance of the battery, and the range may be reduced. However, you can still charge your car in bad or rainy weather. 

Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at Forbes Advisor, said: “Sales of electric cars are booming, and we can expect to see more EVs on the road as we approach the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. But that means we need to see acceleration in the number and distribution of charging points so that drivers can enjoy easy access to the power they need. It’s good to see cities across the UK getting to grips with the issue.

“When it comes to insurance, drivers switching to an electric car should hopefully not experience too much of a shock. The cost will largely be driven by the value of the car and the owner’s circumstances and driving history. The high cost of replacement parts and the scarcity of mechanics trained to work on EVs has been an issue, but as the UK fleet gradually transitions to hybrids and electrics and then to electrics alone, price differentials should narrow and disappear.”

Methodology:

For this study, Forbes Advisor looked at the 20 most populated cities** in the UK. 

To rank each city, four metrics were taken into consideration; cost of charging an EV at home, number of rapid charging points per 100k people, the number of charging points per 100,000 people and number of rapid charging points per EV. Each city was then given a score of 1 to 20 based on where they ranked in the list, with 20 being the best and 1 being the worst. The total possible score was 80. 

To track the cost of charging an EV at home in each city, Forbes Advisor used data from the Dept for Business, Energy & Industry*** to get the average cost of electricity per kWh in each region in the UK. Then, using data on the average amount of energy needed to charge an EV****, the researchers were able to come to a cost of charging an EV at home in each city. 

To look at the cost of charging points across the UK, Forbes Advisor looked at Government data***** on the number of charging points and number of rapid charging points in each region per 100,000 people. Then, to calculate the number of rapid charging points per registered EV, the number of rapid charging points were divided by the number of registered EVs in each area.

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