F OR first time electric vehicles will be able to travel the length and breadth of Britain using the world’s first national charging network at motorway service stations across the country.
Every charging post will be powered with 100% green energy made at Ecotricity’s wind and solar parks across the UK, and means that electric car drivers (and motorcycle riders) will be able to drive from London to Edinburgh or Exeter completely free and with vastly reduced emissions.
This breakthrough in electric car infrastructure removes one of the main barriers for people wanting to buy electric cars – range anxiety – which currently restricts people to driving within their own city.
The first ‘top-up zone’ will be installed at Welcome Break’s South Mimms services [at the Junction of the M1 and M25] in July, and the first phase of the network spread across 12 motorway services will be completed by September. Each post will be located outside the main entrance, with two sockets that can be accessed by registering for a free swipecard. Within 18 months all 27 Welcome Break motorway services will have charging points.
Electric cars can top-up in just 20 minutes using rapid recharge points (32A supply) or fully charge in two hours. Those using the slower (13A supply) will be able to recharge fully if staying overnight at motorway service hotels.
Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity, said:
“Until now, charging posts have all been in city centres like London, but this is where you need them the least. Statistics show that it’s not in towns and cities where electric cars need to recharge, but on longer journeys between cities – and that means motorways.”
A driver doing a year’s typical 12,000 miles of motoring could save almost £2000 in petrol costs at today’s prices, and save around 2500kg in CO2 emissions.
Electric car owners who want to register for a free swipe card can visit Ecotricity’s website at www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road
As well as its Welcome Break network, Ecotricity has also installed a charging post at its windmill next to the M4 motorway in Reading. It is the first charge post to be powered directly from a windmill.