Electric vehicles remain current despite charges to Highway

PEOPLE who are interested in switching to an electric vehicle this year are being advised not to let the charges to the electric highway deter them (August, 2016).

Wessex Garages at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol says that 99% of Nissan Leaf customers charge their vehicle at home 90% of the time and so will hardly be effected by Ecotricity charging drivers for using Britain’s car charging network.

Simon Newson, General Manager at Wessex Garages’ Nissan brand centre on Hayes Way, said: “Electric vehicles are still the way forward despite after five years’ worth of free travel – Ecotricity is now finally beginning to charge electric car drivers for the Electric Highway.

“The usage trebled in 2015 and it has been so successful in encouraging the uptake of electric cars that it is now necessary to start charging for the service in order to maintain and grow the network.

“A rapid charge of up to 30 minutes will cost £6, still significantly less than the equivalent cost of filling up a petrol or diesel car. The network will remain free for Ecotricity domestic energy customers. If you purchase a Nissan Leaf you could change your home electricity to Ecotricity and get a £40 credit on your bill as you have an electric car, and you will also continue to get free rapid charging.

“From Nissan statistics we have found that 99% of electric Nissan Leaf owners charge their vehicle at home 90% of the time. They may just use a rapid charger on the Electric Highway when they go on a long journey. The average customer does this a couple of times a month at most, so the £6 fee is significantly outweighed by the £100 plus per month they could save on fuel.

“People may feel the rapid charger is expensive at £6 but take off the cost of the electricity - circa £2 and VAT circa £1 and £3 to use a £50,000 rapid charger facility in a prominent location – it’s not so bad.”

The Electric Highway has nearly 300 Ecotricity chargers across Britain, which enables electric car drivers to travel the length of the country using nothing but renewable energy.

The almost 40,000 members of the Electric Highway will need to download a new mobile phone app to make payments. The switch to charging will be manually implemented at all charging points and is expected to be completed by Friday, August 5.

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Josh Marks, Electric Vehicle/Leaf Specialist at Wessex Garages at Cribbs Causeway.