On the road to electric coverage

About 98% of England’s motorway network is within 20 miles of an electric vehicle charge point, while 72% of service stations now provide electric charging.

These figures have been released by the RAC Foundation, which also found that more than nine in 10 charge points at service stations are rapid, offering nearly a full recharge in under 30 minutes.

When the analysis was extended to include major A roads managed by Highways England (HE), it was calculated that 82% of the strategic road network is within 20 miles of a charge point. However, it’s a different story in Scotland and Wales, where only 28% and 45% of the road network is within 20 miles of a charging station.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said, ‘Electric car drivers might still struggle to drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats but they can now travel from Southampton to Perth in a relatively straight line and be confident of being able to fill up along the way.

‘The growing charge point network is good news but there are important caveats.

‘Though many of the charge points are rapid, it will still take about 30 minutes to fully replenish a battery. This is fine if you’re first in the queue but could be a challenge if the hoped-for take up of electric cars materialises and you’re stuck at the back of a very long line.’

Meanwhile, the £5,000 subsidy for electric cars is being reduced from next month, and replaced by a tiered system.

Vehicles with a zero emission range of over 70 miles will be eligible for up to £4,500 while those with a shorter range can receive £2,500.