5 August 2015

Drive an electric vehicle and end fuel station visits, claims industry campaign

New analysis by plug-in vehicle campaign Go Ultra Low suggests that British motorists could no longer have to rely on the conventional petrol station.

More than 90% of electric vehicle charging, according to infrastructure provider Chargemaster’s ‘charging events’ data for domestic and public charging from January to May 2015, takes place at home while total charging volumes have almost tripled since 2014 (163% increase).

Coupled with bumper uptake of plug-in vehicles – more than 14,500 were registered in the first half of 2015 – the new findings point to the potential for motorists to lessen their reliance on petrol stations by opting for hassle-free electric-car ownership, clams the campaign.

Hetal Shah, Head of Go Ultra Low suggests that motorists should consider updating their approach to car ownership.

She said: ‘The reasoning is simple – why should motorists have to go out of their way, regularly spending time at petrol stations, when it is easy to ‘refuel’ from the comfort of their own home, simply by plugging in an electric car?

‘EV-sceptics sometimes question the usability of the UK’s roadside charging infrastructure, but this new data indicates that it is an important, but not critical, facility for most electric vehicle owners.’

Government subsidies of up to £700 are available for the installation of fast, efficient home-chargepoints.

With the average commute in the UK less than 10 miles, the majority of plug-in car and van drivers are able to charge entirely at home or work, only occasionally using public chargepoints as a back-up or additional top-up for longer journeys, according to Go Ultra Low.

As well as only commuting short distances, more than a third of UK motorists never travel more than 80 miles in a single trip, comfortably within the 100-mile range of most pure electric vehicles.

Motorists driving beyond their car’s range can make use of more than 7,500 public chargepoints in 3,000 locations nationwide.

That back-up infrastructure is set to grow further with government planning to complete the installation of 500 rapid chargers in key locations, such as motorway service stations, by the end of 2015.

In total, £32 million of infrastructure support is due to be implemented between now and 2020, while £8 million has been set aside for public chargepoints.

Crucially, the funding also makes allowance for motorists’ primary charging locations, with £15 million available for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

The collaborative Go Ultra Low campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of leading car manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, and Volkswagen alongside the government and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.