Charging points at risk of falling behind demand for electric cars

Despite the growing demand for electric cars, the UK’s charging infrastructure is at risk of falling behind

January 15, 2020

Despite the growing demand for electric cars, the UK’s charging infrastructure is at risk of falling behind, particularly in car parks, according to JLL’s UK Shopping Centre Car Parks report. The report, which analysed the performance of 53 shopping centre car parks, covering nearly 40,000 spaces, revealed that just 22% of car parks had at least one charging point, with an average of 0.94 points per shopping centre.

Exploring the future trends and changing dynamics in the car park sector, the report also revealed rising costs compared to last year, with business rates forming the largest component of expenditure. 


Key findings include:


  • At an average age of 8.6 years, compared to an expected life span of 8-10 years, the shopping centres surveyed have an ageing stock of pay machines, 20% of which still don’t accept credit or debit cards
  • Whilst over half of all ticket machines now have the ability to accept contactless payments, only one shopping centre car park within the survey could take online payments
  • Only two shopping centres surveyed use a digital aggregator which enables drivers to book spaces in advance
  • 22% of shopping centres had installed at least one charging point, with the average number of electric charging points standing at 0.94 per shopping centre (up from 0.89 in 2017)


  • Average occupancy rates across car parks surveyed stand at 67%
  • Business rates are the largest component of total costs, accounting for 43% of expenditure
  • Average income per space was £1,566 a 6% increase from last year. Average cost per space was £642, an increase of 15% from last year
  • 61% of the car parks total income is received in the first two hours
  • 63% of the income is received in cash, this was 87% back in 2014
  • The car park ranks second in terms of income amongst the shopping centre tenants. In over one fifth of shopping centres the car park generated the most income

Paul Gallagher, automotive consultant at JLL, commented: “Electric vehicle charging points have increased marginally from last year, however, given the continuing year on year growth of electric vehicles as a proportion of total vehicles, consideration should be given to installing charging infrastructure to support demand.  This can help bring in extra revenue, improve the companies’ CSR, and increase dwell time as well as attract new customers.”

Kathryn Pitts, automotive director at JLL, added: “The car parking sector is in the midst of a digital revolution. With a range of new car parking apps helping people find space, we expect to see an increasing number of landlords look to use them to diversify their income streams. It makes sense that with costs rising, it is only natural that landlords should look around to see where additional money can be made.”


About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000 as of September 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.