The UK’s Electric Vehicle Hotspots

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Over the past decade, electric vehicles have become increasingly popular within the UK and as a result, EV ownership and infrastructure development is thriving across the country.

As the government’s goal to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 draws nearer and the number of EVs on our roads increases, the team at National Scrap Car sought to investigate the UK’s EV hotspots, analysing 337 local authorities using government data.

Improvements to infrastructure along with council schemes and grants have significantly impacted the rise of EV vehicles in the UK.

Electric car charging at charging station

Local authorities with the MOST EV Vehicles

The growing demand for EVs, driven by environmental consciousness and advancements in technology has meant UK infrastructure is making room for charging points in cities and homes across the country. This expansion in charging infrastructure is significantly enhancing the convenience of owning and operating an electric vehicle.

We analysed the areas in the UK with the most personal electric vehicles registered in 2022.

RankLocal AuthorityRegionNumber of personal electric vehicles registered in 2022
1BuckinghamshireSouth East4,159
2WiltshireSouth West2,801
3Cheshire EastNorth West2,323
4LeedsWest Yorkshire2,228
5CornwallSouth West2,219
6City of EdinburghScotland1,949
7DorsetSouth West1,886
8BirminghamWest Midlands1,785
9West NorthamptonshireNorthamptonshire1,732
10Central BedfordshireEast1,650

With an impressive 4,159 EVs, Buckinghamshire is the leading local authority, followed by Wiltshire and Cheshire East.

Overall the uptake of EVs in Buckinghamshire is highest in the UK and South-East of England. In 2022, Buckinghamshire Council launched its first 5-year Action Plan to support the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) by helping to ensure infrastructure is in place to help residents transition to EVs which could also be significantly impacting the increase in EV users.

It’s also been noted that the trend of early uptake in EVs has been from households with higher incomes, therefore the figures could be attributed to the county having relatively affluent residents.

Charging cable in electric vehicle

Wiltshire is second with 2,801 EVs, leading the authorities in the South West. Wiltshire Council offered grants of up to £2,500 to enable town and parish councils to install public EV charging infrastructure in their communities in 2022, greatly impacting the potential number of EVs on Wiltshire roads.

In the north, Cheshire East leads with 2,322 vehicles. The council has invested in providing several electric vehicle charge points across the county supporting the uptake of EV owners in the area.

Local authorities with the LEAST EV Vehicles

RankLocal AuthorityRegionNumber of personal electric vehicles registered in 2022
1Merthyr TydfilWales69
2Barrow-in-FurnessNorth West90
4Fermanagh and OmaghNorthern Ireland120
7Mid UlsterNorthern Ireland151
8MiddlesbroughNorth East156
9RichmondshireNorth Yorkshire157
10Oadby and WigstonLeicestershire160

In contrast to Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Cheshire East, the local authorities with the lowest number of privately owned EVs are Merthyr Tydfil, Barrow-in-Furness, and Hyndburn.

Despite Merthyr Tydfil building 13 chargers at various public car parks across the County Borough, there were only 69 personal EVs registered in 2022.

Merthyr Tydfil’s average salary in 2022 was £30.8k which is 10k under the UK average of £40.0k. This could explain the low number of EVs in the area, however, this is expected to increase in the future as the price of EVs reach parity with petrol/diesel vehicles.

Barrow-in-Furness in the North West came second with only 90 EVs in the area and Hynburn in Lancashire came third with 118.

Local Authorities That Have Had the BIGGEST Increase in EV Vehicles

With sales of EVs rising every year we wanted to investigate which local authorities have had the biggest uptake in EV vehicle ownership.

Looking at the 2021 EV vehicle figures for each region we were able to measure the increase over time, with some local authorities seeing an increase of over 1000 EVs between 2021 and 2022.

RankLocal AuthorityRegion2021 Total2022 TotalDifference
1BuckinghamshireSouth East26154159+1544
2Cheshire EastNorth West13542323+969
3WiltshireSouth West18352801+966
4LeedsWest Yorks13562228+872
5CornwallSouth West14052219+814
6Central BedfordshireEast9501650+700
7West NorthamptonshireNorthamptonshire10621732+670
8City of EdinburghScotland12811949+668
9BirminghamWest Midlands11291785+656
10Cheshire West & ChesterNorth West9611606+645

With an increase of 1,544 vehicles, Buckinghamshire is the leading local authority for electric vehicles, closely followed by Cheshire East and Wiltshire with an increase of 969 and 966 EVs respectively.

Buckinghamshire’s increase suggests roughly 4 EVs were purchased every day during 2022.

London Boroughs with the MOST registered EV vehicles

With a range of advantages ranging from reduced running costs to enhanced driving experiences and even free parking, there are a number of benefits for UK drivers to invest in an EV. Londoners, in particular, enjoy additional advantages as EVs are exempt from the London Congestion Charge, further incentivising the adoption of EVs in the capital city.

RankLocal AuthorityRegionNumber of electric vehicles registered in 2022
1BarnetLondon Outer3,012
2WestminsterLondon Inner1,877
3BromleyLondon Outer1,637
4CamdenLondon Inner1,609
5Kensington & ChelseaLondon Inner1,548
6Richmond upon ThamesLondon Outer1,527
7WandsworthLondon Inner1,439
8CroydonLondon Outer1,286
9EalingLondon Outer1,261
10HarrowLondon Outer1,159

Our research has shown that Barnet has the largest share of registered EVs in London with 3,012, followed by Westminster and Bromley.

In London around 90 per cent of all car trips are less than 7 miles, making electric vehicles an ideal choice for an emission-free short trip.

Barnet Council has introduced exemptions from Vehicle Excise Duty along with reduced permit prices for EV owners and has over 200 on-street EV charge points in the borough. In comparison, Westminster has more than 2,200 on-street EV charge points and offers a free resident parking permit for EV owners.

London Boroughs with the BIGGEST increase in EVs

RankLocal AuthorityRegion2022 Total2002 TotalDifference
1BarnetLondon Outer2,1423,103+961
2BromleyLondon Outer9761,693+717
3CroydonLondon Outer7791,334+555
4Richmond upon ThamesLondon Outer1,0461,582+536
5HarrowLondon Outer7211,196+475
6CamdenLondon Inner1,2071,674+467
7WandsworthLondon Inner1,0381,486+448
8WestminsterLondon Inner1,5111,954+443
9HillingdonLondon Outer7011,132+431
10EnfieldLondon Outer5901,019+429

With an increase of 961 vehicles, Barnet’s registered EVs jumped from 2,142 to 3,103 between 2021 and 2022.

Bromley followed with an increase of 717 EVs and Croydon with 555, tipping their figures over the 1,000 thresholds.

Local Authorities with the Most EV charging spots

The biggest worry for EV owners is how and where they can charge their vehicles. Convenience, time and security are big concerns and most local authorities are now implementing new strategies to increase the availability of chargers across the country.

RankLocal AuthorityRegionTotal public charging devicesTotal public rapid charging devicesCharging points per 100 cars
1CoventryWest Midlands90351263
2Orkney IslandsScotland5010221.8
4East LothianScotland17127156.1
5Milton KeynesBuckinghamshire444118154.1
6Brighton & HoveWest Sussex40016144.8
7South LakelandCumbria15134144.3
9Shetland IslandsScotland306130.8
10Argyll & ButeScotland11126128.7
12Welwyn HatfieldHertfordshire1467122.1
13Dumfries & GallowayScotland17536117.6
14Perth & KinrossScotland17255111.8
15Dundee CityScotland16156109
16Folkestone & HytheKent11719106.3
17RyedaleNorth Yorkshire574103.8
18Blaenau GwentWales686101.5

We measured the total public charging devices, total public rapid charging devices and calculated the number of charging points per 100 cars across the UK to calculate which local authority had the most EV charging spots.

Coventry in the West Midlands led the rankings with 263 charging points per 100 cars. Coventry’s local government has partnered with EO Charging to relieve the burden of installation fees for charging stations. They plan to fund, maintain and operate the charging stations in partnership with local installers.

It may come as a surprise, but the Orkney Islands have ranked in second place with 221.8 charging points per 100 vehicles. With a land mass of 990 km², an average EV battery can lap the island 3 times with one charge.

Scotland has 9 locations ranking in the top 20, including Stirling, Highland, Shetland Islands and Dundee.

Electric car with charging cable plugged in

Local Authorities with the LEAST EV charging spots

While the UK has made significant strides in promoting EVs and developing charging infrastructure, one of the persistent challenges faced by EV owners is the limited availability of charging spots in certain areas.

RankLocal AuthorityRegionTotal public charging devicesTotal public rapid charging devicesCharging points per 100 cars
2Staffordshire MoorlandsStaffordshire929.4
3Lisburn & CastlereaghNorthern Ireland15110
4WalsallWest Midlands301610.6
7Ards and North DownNorthern Ireland19011.6
9WiganGreater Mancheser391811.8
10TamesideGreater Mancheser291712.5
11North KestevenLincolnshire15412.7
12Neath Port TalbotWales181012.7
14SelbyNorth Yorkshire12613
15SandwellWest Midlands471813.8
17ArunWest Sussex24714.5
18Rhondda Cynon TafWales35414.7
20St. HelensMerseyside281015.3

One of the key issues is the lack of investment in charging infrastructure. While major cities and urban areas have witnessed a relatively higher concentration of charging stations, rural regions and smaller towns often struggle with limited access to reliable and convenient charging points.

This disparity poses challenges for EV owners, particularly those living or travelling outside major metropolitan areas, who may face difficulties finding a charging spot when needed.

Fenland in Scotland has the least EV charging stations with only 5.8 charging points per 100 cars, followed by Staffordshire Moorlands and Lisburn and Castlereagh in Northern Ireland.

London Boroughs with the most EV chargers per 100 cars

RankLocal AuthorityTotal public charging devicesTotal public rapid charging devicesCharging points per 100 cars
2City of London557638.2
3Kensington & Chelsea7525522.4
4Hammersmith & Fulham62449340.4
13Waltham Forest33213119.4
15Kingston upon Thames1641697.7
19Tower Hamlets2821890.3

In an effort to combat the capital’s significant air pollution, the Mayor of London has set an ambitious goal for the city to be carbon-neutral by 2030. To achieve this, the Mayor is actively supporting and accelerating the shift to zero-emission technologies led by an Electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure strategy.

This commitment is evident in the distribution of charging points per 100 cars across the various London Boroughs. Westminster, City of London, and Kensington and Chelsea stand out with the highest concentration of EV charging facilities, while Barnet, Tower Hamlets, and Lewisham have the fewest.

It’s interesting to note that despite having the largest number of EV owners, Barnet has only 90.3 EV charging stations per 100 vehicles, meaning residents may have to cross into their neighbouring boroughs to charge their vehicles.

Most drivers lack confidence that the government will be able to create sufficient infrastructure for the transition to completely electric vehicles by 2035. According to a study by the Royal Society of Chemistry, drivers still don’t feel like they have enough information to make an informed decision about electric cars and whether they should choose one as their next car. Our study shows that although there is a lot of work left to do in terms of charging infrastructure in certain local authorities, EV ownership is increasing year on year.

Although EVs have a higher upfront cost being a lot more expensive, if you’re thinking long-term, then you’ll reap the benefits of purchasing and driving an electric car. EVs are a lot cheaper to run, which potentially adds up to large savings over time, so the government needs to do a lot more in educating motorists.

Dorry Potter, National Scrap Car


We chose to include privately registered EVs only, which were taken from the Department for Transport – Table VEH0142.

The number of charging points refers to publically available charging devices in each authority, taken from the Department for Transport’s Electric Vehicle Charging Device Statistics. Data is provided by the electric vehicle and charging point platform Zap-Map and is correct as of 1 April 2022.