Two people stand next to their EV as one of them charges it using an EVBox Troniq Modular fast-charging station.

The current state of the DC charging market

Last Updated: 27/10/2023

Last year, the number of rapid chargers in the UK increased by 814 units, leading to a total of 8,461 chargers in the UK, equating to 19% of all EV charging devices. The largest increase in installations in the Q2 of 2023 was within the ultra-rapid device category, which increased by 29%, accounting for 776 charging devices.

Understanding the DC rapid & ultra rapid charging market is crucial for businesses interested in investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions. This article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current market.

Increasing charging speeds, new collaborations, smart charging development, and the integration of renewable energies are current trends, while establishing a grid connection, and governmental efforts to ensure interoperability and standardisation are identified as current challenges. 

Table of contents

-The current size and value of the DC charging market 

-Key trends in the DC rapid charging market 

-Key challenges in the DC rapid charging market


The fast changing world of mobility needs rapid-charging infrastructure 

An EV zooms past EVBox Troniq Modular charging stations.

As the demand for EVs continues to soar in the UK, the availability of sufficient and rapid charging infrastructure is a critical factor for widespread adoption.

While the world is switching to electric mobility, the need for rapid-charging infrastructure has never been higher. To put it simply: A widely available and reliable network of public rapid charging points is required, to support the ever-increasing number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road. EV rapid & ultra rapid charging, also known as DC charging offers a lot faster charging times to drivers compared to their AC counterpart. 

Rapid chargers are capable of delivering between 25 and 100 kilowatts of power to electric cars and ultra-rapid chargers deliver more than 100 kilowatts meaning even faster charging times, and therefore ability to charge more vehicles during the same time period at motorway service stations.

The expansion of public –and specifically rapid & ultra rapid– charging infrastructure reduces range anxiety (the fear of running out of battery and not being able to charge) and making it easier for drivers to travel long distances.

In recent years, the public EV charging infrastructure roll-out has already helped the adoption of electric mobility tremendously and will continue to do so in the next decade. However, commercial rapid & ultra-rapid charging stations are expected to play a key role in the growth of the EV market.

The reason for this is quite simple: Drivers want to charge their cars as fast as possible and will travel to places that offer that service. In addition, research shows that drivers are willing to pay extra for faster charging. So, having DC charging infrastructure on your site can act as a new revenue source and a way to attract customers to visit your business.

Many different types of businesses can take advantage of the strategic placement of their locations near motorways, busy urban areas, or popular destinations. If you are considering growing your business by tapping into the growing rapid EV charging market, let’s dive into its current state, trends, and challenges, so you’ll have a pretty good overview of what is what.

A view of the motorway with  front and back lights blurred, with green areas on both sides of the motorway.

EV charging infrastructure 2023 

How many EV chargers are there in the Uk today? 

As of 1 July 2023, there were 44,020 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK, with 3,095 having been installed alone since January 2023 - an 8% increase since the beginning of the year.

What is the market value of the EV charging infrastructure in the UK?

With more EVs coming to market, revenues from EV charging of passenger cars alone will surge to about £7 billion in the UK by 2030. This is a sevenfold increase from 2021 at a CAGR of approximately 25%.

Of course, both the number of charging points and market value described numbers reflect the total number of charging stations including slower AC charging points, so let’s look at DC rapid & ultra rapid charging stations specifically. 

A woman plugs in the cable of an EVBox Troniq Modular charging station into her EV.

Global rapid charging infrastructure 2023

In 2022, the global number of rapid chargers experienced a significant increase of 330,000 units leading to a total stock of approximately 858.000. While this article mainly focuses on the UK, it’s good to note that China is leading in terms of fast charging infrastructure as the country accounts for a total of 760.000 rapid chargers. For more information on the charging infrastructure in the US and the rest of Europe, read our global blog.

Rapid charging infrastructure in the UK 

By 2022, the United Kingdom had established a DC fast charging infrastructure with roughly 7,000 charging points for EVs. The UK's dedication to environmentally friendly mobility and emissions reduction is shown in the investment in extending the charging network. 

Like many forward-looking markets, the UK DC fast-charging market is set to witness significant growth and advancement thanks to various government-funded initiatives and commitments. An existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund is dedicated to supporting the deployment of at least 6,000 high-powered super-fast charge-points along England's motorways by 2035.

British union jack flag and Big Ben Clock Tower and Parliament house at city of Westminster in the background.

The need for more commercial EV charging stations 

Ultimately, while governments can provide the ‘backbone infrastructure along major motorways, commercial investments are essential in creating a widespread rapid-charging infrastructure. 

A business meeting where a young man wearing glasses explains the potential of commercial DC charging investment to his 3 colleagues.

Take Norway for example 

Norway is known as a leader in electric mobility, and besides electric car sales and EV adoption, there has been a big increase in rapid-charging infrastructure as well.

Currently, the rural country has over 6,000 rapid/ultra-rapid EV chargers geographically well-spread across the country. Last year alone, over 1,500 DC chargers were added, and more are coming. Contrary to popular belief, Norway's rapid-charging infrastructure rollout was not solely dependent on government funding. 

In a recent REVOLUTION Podcast episode, Cristina Bu, Secretary General of the Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian EV Association) explained that while the government played a pivotal role in establishing the backbone infrastructure along major highways with an investment of approximately 35 million euros, the expansion of the network has been largely commercially driven.  

The reason? 

The interest of commercial companies soared alongside the increasing number of electric cars on the road. Many companies noticed the increasing need for charging and discovered the opportunities charging infrastructure has to offer their business.

EV charging trends in the DC rapid charging market 

The market for DC charging is seeing dynamic shifts that are reshaping the sector. Faster charging technologies are being developed, new and more collaborative initiatives are emerging, smart charging technologies and digital connectivity enhances charging experiences and minimises the impact on the grid, and the world is looking at more sustainable ways to deliver power to the growing number of charging stations.

A close-up view of a woman charging her EV using the charging plug and cable of the EVBox Troniq Modular charging station.

1. The need for speed

Electric mobility is no longer a futuristic concept that appeals to early adopters. It’s becoming the norm, and with that change, the need for shorter charging times and improved vehicle range is only getting higher. As new models are getting equipped with more efficient batteries and larger capacity, DC charging stations are being developed to have an increased power output.  

Only a few years ago, 50 kW DC charging was more than acceptable, now many DC charging stations have a maximum power output of 150 kW, 200 kW, 300 kW, or even higher. While many cars cannot even handle the maximum output of a charging station, it’s important to understand that –especially with rapid & ultra rapid charging– charging more than one vehicle at the same time comes with the territory. So, if a DC charging station has a maximum power output of 300 kW and two cars are charging at the same time, that means that (theoretically) they can both receive 150 kW at the same time.  

How fast is DC fast charging? 

Today, the average time it takes to charge a medium-sized electric car with a DC charging station lies somewhere between 17 and 52 min. 

How fast can fast charging get? 

In a recent REVOLUTION Live podcast, we asked this question to Roland van der Put, Head of Charging Technology at Fastned. He highlighted which direction DC charging is moving in and stated that it will not be long until EVs can achieve an 80% charge in just ten minutes. 


2. More collaboration

Parking facilities, petrol stations, motorway restaurants, and even hotels are often perfectly situated to facilitate DC charging. Their core business already offers services that make waiting for the car to be charged a lot less tedious for drivers and provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to attract new customers.  

While many businesses are looking to invest and for ways to capture new markets by themselves, the winning strategy might look more cooperative than you think at first. 

In another recent REVOLUTION Podcast episode, Francois Parniere, group EV director at TSG mentioned that we already see fuel retailers and CPOs around the world open to investing and partnering up with other businesses to create a more appealing and well-rounded offering. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about meeting the diverse needs of your customers. 


3. Smart charging development

Smart charging is an umbrella term that includes all features that optimise the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and minimise the impact on the load of an electric vehicle (electricity demand).  

In a nutshell, smart charging manages the timing, power, and flow of individual charging sessions while taking infrastructure constraints, renewable energy production, electricity costs, grid conditions, and vehicle needs into account. 

An image of a city at night with digital graphics and 0s and 1s depicting high-speed traffic

There are many, but the most frequently discussed smart charging features today are load balancing, cluster balancing, simultaneous charging, and Vehicle to grid (V2G).  

Because a smart EV rapid charging station can monitor changes in load, adjust accordingly, and communicate with the car. As a result, smart charging can make charging more predictable and insightful. This is exactly why governments around the world are working to standardise regulations for smart charging stations, ensuring consumers and the electricity grid are protected. 

4. Renewable energy integration

Electricity mostly comes from the grid, unfortunately, today, the grid is still far from renewable. 

According to the IEA, Global coal-fired generation reached an all-time high in 2021, pushing CO2 emissions from coal power plants to record levels. Despite increased calls from governments and the private sector to phase down or transition away from coal, it accounted for over one-third of total electricity generation. 

An areal view of windmills and solar panel farms.

But what about, for example, solar or wind? Well, unfortunately, there are technical constraints, as renewable energy is often less reliable than fossil fuel energy, and harder to scale up as needed. In theory, one way to help stabilise a renewables-based grid would be to have a way to store surplus power when it’s available.  

Microgrids have emerged as a solution to this challenge, offering the potential to make EV fast-charging infrastructure more sustainable.  

What are microgrids? 

Microgrids are on-site and self-contained energy systems that can incorporate a variety of battery energy storage and renewable energy systems such as solar PV, wind, and geothermal. Combining EV rapid charging infrastructure with microgrids can create a self-sustaining system that stores renewable energy to use during periods of high demand.  

While sounding great on paper, many challenges still need to be addressed to make this a viable option on a larger scale, but it’s an interesting development to keep an eye on.  

Challenges in the DC Charging Market 

Faster charging times and greater convenience for EV owners are made possible by DC fast charging. But just like every developing industry, the DC charging market has its own set of challenges that must be overcome before it can be widely adopted. 

1. Establishing a grid connection 

Establishing grid connections for EV charging infrastructure is no walk in the park.  

In one of our REVOLUTION Podcast episodes, Lucie Mattera, Secretary General at ChargeUp Europe, sums up some of the complexity and challenges regarding the current grid connection and permitting processes for charge point operators to establish a connection to set up a fast-charging location.


She mentions that today's processes vary from one jurisdiction to another, and are fully dependent on the charging capacity you require in combination with the way stakeholders and local authorities are involved. These complex elements combined lead to a picture where the cost will vary, the timelines are unpredictable, and, usually, the outcome is as well.

Having better grid connection processes in place will help scale fast charging infrastructure, which will, in turn, help accelerate EV adoption. 

2. EV charging standards and interoperability 

Now that we are moving towards global EV adoption, the need for an optimal, accessible, and user-friendly DC fast-charging network has never been higher. Governments around the world are trying to make this happen by optimising interoperability and mandating standardisation rules and legislation. 

In a nutshell, these measurements are taken to ensure better price transparency, compatibility labeling, data provision, and sharing, and payment requirements to make EV driving easier and safer for consumers. 

A man driving his EV rests his arm out of the car's open window.

A few examples of current developments are improving the payment process, ensuring consumers know exactly what they’re paying for, and mandating EV chargers to be digitally connected and have smart charging capabilities to contribute to a more energy-efficient and consumer-oriented charging experience. 

While it is in everyone's best interests for charging stations to be safe and functional, with costs kept as low as possible, there are of course many angles to consider.

The primary concerns of grid operators are safety and the influence on the electrical infrastructure. Meanwhile, governments are focusing on the needs of EV drivers and the management of the space. Then there are the operating companies, charging equipment manufacturers, and other market players who are concerned with efficient implementation and management.  

All these different needs and wants combined with a rapidly growing need, make a complex puzzle that governments must navigate by collaborating with important players in the industry and learning from each other.  

A woman interacts with the screen of an EVBox Troniq Modular charging station while her EV charges.

In conclusion 

The DC charging market plays a crucial role in supporting the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) by providing rapid recharging capabilities. Infrastructure is growing, but so is the need for more and faster charging capabilities for drivers.  

Business owners looking to invest in DC Charging infrastructure could benefit from keeping up to date with this developing industry. We hope this post provides some clarity about the current state of the DC rapid charging market and invite you to read more on other related topics such as emerging calibration laws in the DC market or how you can make money with EV charging. Click here If you want to learn more about our DC charging solutions.