The UK Ranks Fifth in Electric Vehicle Readiness, but Challenges Remain

The UK has been ranked as the fifth best-prepared market in the world for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), according to a recent report by EY. The EV Country Readiness Index analyzed the top 20 markets based on factors such as supply, demand, and regulation. China retained its top spot, while Norway came second. The US climbed to third place, and Sweden slipped to fourth. Although the UK’s rankings for supply and regulation fell slightly, it continued to rank sixth for EV demand.

Despite these rankings, the UK still has room for improvement. The country’s EV penetration, which includes battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales, is expected to rise to 26% in 2023. However, this is significantly lower than Norway’s projected 81% EV penetration for the same year. To catch up, the UK aims to increase its battery production capacity to 41 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2027.

Infrastructure poses a challenge for the UK’s EV transition. While the number of public charge points has increased by 42% compared to last year, there is still a lack of fast charging facilities. EY emphasizes the need for prioritizing the location and speed of charging infrastructure to support the growing EV market.

The upfront cost of EVs remains a barrier for some drivers, despite the UK ranking sixth for demand. However, the price difference between EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is narrowing. In the UK market, BEVs are only around 10% more expensive than their ICE counterparts. High fuel prices and penalties on ICE vehicles have motivated potential EV buyers, but concerns about charging costs and inadequate public infrastructure persist.

The UK’s regulatory ranking slipped from third to fourth place, but the country still performs well in this category compared to supply and demand. The government plans to invest £1.6 billion into EV charging infrastructure and is focused on regulatory support. However, the UK lags behind other countries, such as China, Germany, and the US, in terms of investment in EV and battery manufacturing.

While the UK ranks highly in several areas related to the EV transition, there are still challenges to overcome. Collaboration between OEMs and the government, as well as continued improvement in regulation and infrastructure, will be essential for the UK to compete with leading EV markets and attract foreign investment.


– EY’s EV Country Readiness Index