Motorway service stations behind schedule in roll out of EV chargers

By the end of this year the Government had planned for every motorway service station to have at least six ultra fast EV chargers but it now appears this target is not likely to be met.

Research by the RAC has found that only 27 of 119 service stations had achieved the target. There is a total of just 400 high-powered chargers in place on the motorway network, capable of charging 682 electric cars at one time. 

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Six motorway services in England have been identified as not having any ultra-fast chargers: Leicester Forest on both sides of the M1, Tebay South on the M6, Carlisle Northbound on the M1, Strensham Southbound on the M5 and Barton Park on the A1(M).

In ‘Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy’ which the Government published in March last year, it was stated: ‘We will ensure that every motorway service area has at least six rapid chargers by the end of 2023, with some having more than 12.’ The RAC research found that currently, there are only six services in England which have more than 12 such devices – all run by Moto.

The RAC’s EV spokesperson Simon Williams said: ‘Our findings show there is much work to be done before the end of the year if the Government’s target of having six high-powered chargers at every motorway service area is to be met.

‘Installing these types of units is not straightforward as connecting to the electricity grid is expensive and time-consuming, but clearly more needs to be done to make this process simpler than it is currently.

‘We have long argued that rapid and ultra-rapid charging is vital to give drivers confidence they can make journeys beyond the range of their vehicles in the most time efficient way possible. While early-adopters have been prepared to plan their journeys carefully around recharging stops, the everyday driver will want this to be much easier and quicker.’

Quentin Willson, founder of the EV campaign FairCharge, added: ‘When you look at how quickly Tesla put their Superchargers into the motorway service network, you’re forced to wonder why the Government is working at such glacial speed to do the same. We simply must pick up the pace building a long-range, high-powered charging infrastructure to offer confidence to electric car drivers, the EV market and global investors. Not having enough charging infrastructure is now a major refrain from the anti-EV lobby and is holding back adoption.’


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