Frequently Asked Questions

Why have you installed this network?

A lack of charging facilities is one of the reasons why people don’t buy more electric cars. And the reason more charging facilities haven’t been built is because not enough people are buying electric cars.

It’s classic chicken and egg stuff. But we’re hoping to break this impasse.

Another barrier to the faster take up of electric cars is something called ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of running out of juice when travelling any serious kind of distance.

This is where our Electric Highway comes in – a national network of charge points – making it easier for electric vehicle owners to make long distance journeys. We hope it’s helping to kickstart Britain’s electric car revolution.

Why a motorway network?

We chose the motorway network with good reason. The big focus so far – with charging facilities – has been town and city centres.

But we think they’re needed the least here. You only need to look at car use statistics for the answer. The average car in Britain travels around 20 miles a day, a distance most modern electric cars can sustain for almost a week without needing to charge.

Most car owners have access to off-street parking (70 per cent apparently) and are able to charge at home, at night.

So most cars don’t need to charge, most days. It’s longer journeys where charging is most needed.

We're also installing charge points at IKEA as their stores are in excellent urban locations.

What kind of charge points do you have?

We've installed 22kW AC fast chargers, 50kW DC chargers and 50Kw DC / 43kW AC charge points so that most cars on the road today can use them. In future we plan to concentrate on rapid chargers in the locations that are most useful for drivers.

What are you doing about CCS or combi charging?

2014 sees the introduction of a new standard for charging – CCS or combi charging. We plan to introduce it during the next 12 months at selected sites. The first cars able to use this are the BMW i3, Volkswagen e-up! and eGolf.

CCS vehicles can use our 22kW AC charge points. Find out where on our  Electric Highway map.

How much does it cost to use the Electric Highway?

It's free – just  register for a swipe card on our website.

We have no plans to charge people to use our network. We want to encourage as many people as possible to join the electric vehicle revolution.

Can I reserve a charge point in advance or tell if it’s being used?

No, unfortunately not. But we’re looking at how to display charge points are in use via our website in future. 

How do I use the charge points?

If you haven't got a swipe card, complete a registration form and we’ll send you one in the post.

22 kW AC chargers

Visit this page for instructions.

50 kW AC/DC posts

Visit this page for instructions.

Use our  Electric Highway map to find out where your nearest charge point is. 

How do I know if a charge point is up and running?

Check our  Electric Highway map on our website.

Are the charge points situated on both sides of the motorway?

Yes, if there's motorway services on both sides there'll be a charge point at each (except Welcome Break at Sedgemoor on the M5 – northbound only)

I've registered for a swipe card but not received it. What's happening?

It takes up to 14 days for your card to arrive. If you still haven’t received it by then please call Ecotricity customer services on 01453 761 455 or  ping us an email.

Can I use my swipe card for other networks?

We're working hard to make this happen. If you're a member of Source London, Source East or Plugged In Midlands you can already use your card to access our charge points. And we're working to extend this further in future. 

Do you plan to install charge points in places other than Welcome Break?

Yes, it’s great working with Welcome Break. But we’re constantly on the look out for more ways to expand our Electric Highway and keep people on the move. 

Will you keep it free to use your charge points?

At the moment we’re focused on helping electric car owners to get around the UK easily. This may change in future. But we’ve no plans to start charging for our charge points right now.

Will you expand the existing sites as more people get electric vehicles?

Yes, we’ll add new charge points as more people start driving electric vehicles. Exciting times ;-)

What happens if my battery is very flat and I need to stay longer than the two hours ‘allowed’ to charge up?

We’ve arranged with Welcome Break that Electric Highway customers can park and charge up for free – so no problem.

What is a Type 2 lead set?

A Type 2 lead set allows you to connect your vehicle to a 7-Pin Mennekes socket – a standard socket at medium charge points. The lead set usually has a connector on one end that connects from the inlet in your vehicle (usually either 5 pin or 7-pin) to the Mennekes 7-pin socket.

Is my car supplied with a Type 2 lead set?

It depends on the make your vehicle – we suggest you ask the manufacturer. But if your cable doesn’t have a 7-pin connector that would plug into a 7-pin socket – it isn’t a Type 2 lead set.

Where can I buy a Type 2 lead set?

We don’t recommend anywhere or anyone in particular. But it should be pretty easy to get one online.



Contact Us

If you need to get in touch you can either send us an email to  fortheroad@ecotricity.co.uk or give us a call on 01453 761455.

For more information look at our  Charging your vehicle page.

Need more help? See our  Frequently Asked Questions.