A row of electric cars at a rapid charger station (Image: Ecotricity)

Major changes in Electric Highway as revolution continues at pace

After five years, 30 million miles and £2.5 million pounds worth of free travel – Ecotricity will finally begin charging electric car drivers for using Britain’s most comprehensive car charging network – the Electric Highway.

A row of electric cars at a rapid charger station (Image: Ecotricity)
A row of electric cars at a rapid charger station (Image: Ecotricity)

A rapid charge of up to thirty minutes will cost £6, still significantly less than the equivalent cost of a petrol or diesel car, while the network will remain free for Ecotricity domestic energy customerssubject to fair use policy.

The almost 40,000 members of the Electric Highway will need to download a new mobile phone app to make payments, which will have the added functions of a ‘live feed’ of the entire network, so users can see the location and availability of their nearest pump, making it easier for you to plan your journeys.

The Electric Highway is the most comprehensive car charging network in Europe, with nearly 300 ‘Ecotricity Pumps’ across Britain which enable electric car drivers to travel the length and breadth of the country using nothing but renewable energy. Up until now it’s been the only charging infrastructure in Britain that was available completely free of charge. It currently powers around two million miles a month and has powered more than 30 million miles since 2011.

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 new mobile phone app will replace the current card system, which will be available for Apple and Android devices and will enable users to manage their accounts, pay for charging and check the status of chargers all in one place.

The switch to charging will be manually implemented at all charging points, with work starting on 11 July and expected to be completed by Friday 5 August. This will mean that the changeover to the app payment system will be gradual, with some chargers continuing to work via the free card system later than others.

Ecotricity believes that by 2030 every new car should be electric (pure or hybrid), and that by 2040 they should be the only cars on the road.

Electric Highway facts and stats, as of 31st May 2016:

  • The first Electric Highway pump was installed on 27 July 2011
  • Ecotricity has since installed a total of 296 Electric Highway chargers, of which 276 are rapid chargers
  • There are Electric Highway chargers across 96% of the British motorway network
  • The network stretches from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Jonathan Porterfield and Chris Ramsey were the first drivers to travel the length of the country only using public charging points –  a round trip that took 27 hours and 46 minutes in September 2015 and relied almost entirely on the Electric Highway
  • The Electric Highway has powered a total of 30 million miles totally free of charge
  • May 2016 was the busiest month of all time on the network. During the month, the Electric Highway powered 2,170,625 miles with 10,121 customers powering their cars with 347.3MWh of electricity through 43,211 separate charges. That’s the equivalent of having a car charging during every minute of every day throughout the month
  • 38,537 customers currently hold Electric Highway cards

Source: Ecotricity via Fuel Included News

Home Forums Major changes in Electric Highway as revolution continues at pace

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  watfordmale 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #29441

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    After five years, 30 million miles and £2.5 million pounds worth of free travel – Ecotricity will finally begin charging electric car drivers for usin
    [See the full post at: Major changes in Electric Highway as revolution continues at pace]

    #29444

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    A bit of light relief (from the SpeakEV forum):

    #29456

    Fred_Bristol
    Participant

    As an Ecotricity customer you might think I would be smug about recharging for free, but any advantage I might have is more than offset by communication anxiety.
    Will there be a good ‘phone signal?
    Will I have enough data allowance?
    Will the app work?

    For goodness sake Ecotricity provide individually identified swipe cards for your customers at least!

    #29460

    scoobyt555
    Participant

    The main ecotricity chargers I have used have been on the motorway and always seem to get 3/4g at least but I suppose comes down to networks etc. I have had more problems trying to use chargemaster app as they tends to be off main roads, so ended up getting a card for them

    #29797

    watfordmale
    Participant

    As a new owner of a Zoe I read with interest this post..

    I had to laugh when I read the following…. A rapid charge of up to thirty minutes will cost £6, still significantly less than the equivalent cost of a petrol or diesel car…

    Unless I’m mistaken My Zoe can travel on a motorway about 80 miles on a full charge.. This would cost £6 on the electric highway to charge my car.

    My 13 plate Ford 1.6 Diesel does 65mpg at motorway speed with the fuel at £1.10 per ltr this equates roughly to £5 for 65Miles.

    Therefor 80 miles in diesel would be £6.15

    HOW is a £6 charge cheaper, and SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than £6.15.

    As far as I can see this charge is a rip off… A fair price would have been between £1 and £2 for a Charge.

    Would love to hear from the company where they got their vastly inflated price point.

    #29809

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Actually, watfordmale, it’s worse than that. If you have a new ZOE, and it’s not the Rapid version, it would take 2 charges to fill up – so E12.

    #29821

    watfordmale
    Participant

    Thanks I didn’t notice that £12 for two charges… I sent them an email and received a reply that they are looking again at their pricing model, so perhaps they have realised going from free to £6 might hve been a bit harsh.

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