Electric Highway links London to Leeds

24 September 2013

The Electric Highway has now linked London to Luton, Leicester and Leeds for electric vehicles (EV) after green energy company Ecotricity and EV market pioneer Nissan installed new fast-chargers all along the M1 motorway.

Powered with 100% renewable energy from the wind and the sun, the Electric Highway fast-chargers allow EVs (such as Nissan’s all-electric LEAF) to re-fuel in 20 to 30 mins or about the time it takes to have a cup of coffee – matching the so-called “dwell-time” that motorists tend to spend at motorway services, according to industry research.

Ecotricity founder, Dale Vince, said: “The growth of the Electric Highway across British motorways has just kicked into overdrive; we’ve added 20 fast-chargers in the last month alone and will continue at this rate until April next year.”

There are now nine fast-chargers at five Welcome Break service stations along the M1 corridor beginning at London Gateway in Edgeware and including motorway services at Milton Keynes, Leicester, Derby and Sheffield plus the option of South Mimms on the M25.

The expanding Electric Highway now has 26 fast-chargers at motorway service stops– linking London to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff and now Leeds.

Vince said the three perceived barriers to the growth of electric vehicles – price, travel range and re-charging times – were rapidly being overcome.

“The first of these barriers – price – is being resolved by motor industry competition, which has forced down new car prices by as much 35% over the past two years.

“The second and third barriers are really one and the same – concern over the distance that an electric car will travel on a single charge – called range anxiety. This is being overcome by installing fast-charging infrastructure in the right locations.”

In fact, with modern EVs having a range of over 100 miles and the average car journey in Britain being less than 30 miles, most charging happens at home overnight, so it's only on the longer journeys where charging is really needed.

“.. and that means service stations on motorways and A-roads,” Vince continued. “By installing fast-chargers at these locations, we will solve the problem of range anxiety and charging times in one go.”

Paul O’Neil, Electric Vehicle Manager, Nissan Motor GB said: “With free-to-use fast-chargers now installed along one of the UK’s most-used and most important motorway networks, Nissan LEAF drivers can now enjoy greater flexibility and convenience during their journeys – whatever the length.

“Nissan trail-blazed the electric vehicle market with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF and now we are doing the same with the UK’s fast-charging network. Working alongside Ecotricity and other partners, including our dealer network, Nissan is on course to hit our target of 150 publicly accessible charging units by April 2014.”

In addition, with petrol prices remaining permanently high, motorists driving a typical 8,500 miles per year would save around £1,000 in fuel costs at today’s prices, and save around 2,000kg in CO2 emissions [1].

Vince said: “With fast-chargers being powered by renewable energy from the wind and the sun – the Electric Highway is enabling zero carbon driving – and at the moment it’s free to use too.”

[1] Source: Transport Direct

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