Image credit: Ecotricity
While initial sales of electric cars may have been slower than expected, andwith a Government u-turn on public charging points, electric car advocates will be delighted to see some good news emerging from the UK this week. Yesterday Ecotricity—pioneers of wind, solar and biogas in the UK—are launching a truly nationwide network of electric car charging stations that will run on 100% renewable energy.With 3 charging points in place already, the first phase of the charging network—dubbed the the Electric Highway—will see chargers installed at 12 motorway service areas (rest areas in US parlance) by September.
Within 18 months all 27 service areas in the country that are owned by the Welcome Break chain will boast a spot for electric vehicle owners to top up or fully recharge using either the fast charge (32A supply), or the slower supply (13A) for an overnight charge if staying at the nearby hotel. Dale Vince, CEO of Ecotricity, argued that this is a major step toward more widespread acceptance:
"Until now, charging posts have all been in city centres like London, but this is where you need them the least. Statistics show that it's not in towns and cities where electric cars need to recharge, but on longer journeys between cities - and that means motorways.
"We're creating the infrastructure to get Britain's electric car revolution moving. This marks the beginning of the end for the old combustion engine. With world oil prices going through the roof, you'll now be able to get around Britain using only the power of the wind. It costs 1p a mile in an electric vehicle, compared with 10p in a petrol car (at today's oil prices).
The announcement about the Ecotricity Electric Highway should come as no surprise to followers of the company, or of the push for electric cars in the UK. UK utilities are already competing for the home car charging market. And as a company that has pioneered urban wind turbines, biogas direct to the consumer, and large-scale solar power, and whose CEO spearheaded the building of a 100% electric supercar, it seems a logical step for Ecotricity to make a very public, high profile investment in clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure.
The charging network will be free to access for all Ecotricity customers via a free swipe card.
Watch this space for a LiveChat with Dale Vince, CEO of Ecotricity, vegan soccer club owner, and high-profile member of Britain's rich list. Coming in early August.
More on Electric Cars in the UK
Utilities Compete for EV Charging Market
UK Electric Car Sales Down 50%
Government U-Turn on Public EV Charging