Fleet News

Ecotricity launches 'electric highway'

For first time electric vehicles will be able to travel the length and breadth of Britain using the world’s first national charging network at motorway service stations across the country, says Ecotricity.

The company claims that its electric car infrastructure removes one of the main barriers for people wanting to buy electric cars – range anxiety.

Every charging post will be powered with 100% green energy made at Ecotricity’s wind and solar parks across the UK.

The first ‘top-up zone’ was installed at Welcome Break’s South Mimms services at the Junction of the M1 and M25 in July, and the first phase of the network spread across 12 motorway services will be completed by September.

Each post will be located outside the main entrance, with two sockets that can be accessed by registering for a free swipecard. Within 18 months all 27 Welcome Break motorway services will have charging points.

Electric cars can top-up in just 20 minutes using rapid recharge points (32A supply) or fully charge in two hours, but repeated ‘fast charging’ can have a detrimental effect on the battery’s life. Those using the slower (13A supply) will be able to recharge fully if staying overnight in adjoining hotels.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “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.”

Electric car owners who want to register for a free swipe card can visit Ecotricity’s website at www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Crummy - 03/08/2011 18:00

    Hmm, what is the distance between charging points? Will the vehicles traveling at 60-70mph have to stop at each services for a recharge to be able to get to the next one...???

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee