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.
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.
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.
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.
It's free – just register for a swipe card on our website.
We have no immediate plans to charge people to use our network. We want to encourage as many people as possible to join the electric vehicle revolution.
No, unfortunately not. But we’re looking at how to display charge points are in use via our website in future.
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
50 kW AC/DC posts
Use our Electric Highway map to find out where your nearest charge point is.
Check our Electric Highway map on our website.
Yes, if there's motorway services on both sides there'll be a charge point at each.
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.
No, you can’t use your Electric Highway card on other networks. However, if you're a member of Source London, Source East, Plugged In Midlands or CYC you can use your card to access our charge points. And we're working to extend this further in future.
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.
Yes, we’ll add new charge points as more people start driving electric vehicles. Exciting times ;-)
We’ve arranged with Welcome Break that Electric Highway customers can park and charge up for free – so no problem. However, at all other motorway service areas car parking charges will apply as normal after the allocated free period. If you have any questions about how to pay for parking, please contact the motorway service area where you will be charging.
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.
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.
We don’t recommend anywhere or anyone in particular. But it should be pretty easy to get one online.