Another epic journey to test the viability of the charging network, but still hats off to Gridserve CEO Toddington Harper for doing this down the length of France on a Model S a few years back..
As the Government set out in its recent Road To Zero strategy the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 is designed to ensure that charge points are available at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers. Investing in more charging infrastructure is key to encourage more EV sales but it will only help address range anxiety if consumers can be sure they will actually be able to charge when they get to the charge point.
As this article in the Guardian recognises, the real issue may not be the number of charge points but the number that are available. There is no point installing lots of charge points if they don't work! Ensuring charge points are effectively serviced and maintained will always be important (and is something that should be carefully considered in the contractual arrangements) but it will be of particular importance over the next few years until the network has expanded. Most of us will not be driving a Tesla with a 319 miles at 70mph range! Ensuring their car park charge points are in good working order is something that retailers and hospitality businesses in particular will want to be alive to in order to avoid any negative impact on customer experience and repeat visits.
Fortunately, the Guardian had borrowed a Tesla Model S, which has the longest range of any electric car on sale in the UK, at 319 miles at 70mph, and a price that starts at £66,730 to match. But a closer charger might have been needed for more affordable models, such as the BMW i3 (124-mile range). Chargers are ranked with confusing labels on how quickly they can top up a car’s battery. Fast is better than slow, but rapid is faster than fast, and super is best of all.