Saturday, 3 May 2014

Half million charge-ups on Electric Highway . . .


Half million charge-ups on Electric Highway

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The Electric Highway's latest usage stats suggest promising future for EV market

Ecotricity have released figures that show over 500,000 charging events have been completed on their public charging network, The Electric Highway, in the last year.

The Electric Highway is one the largest networks of rapid chargers (43-50kW) operating in the UK. They are based along motorways connecting electric vehicle (EV) drivers nationwide.

With support of renewed government funding for charging infrastructure, that Next Green Car reported on earlier this week, Ecotricity aim to install an Electric Highway charge point at every motorway service station in Britain by the end of this year.

Unlike most other networks, the Ecotricity network is powered by 100% green energy. the company being a strong advocate of both EVs and renewable energy sources, maintaining that to affect climate change and ensure economic growth there must be a switch to both.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity and the Electric Highway, said: "The energy provided by the Electric Highway is 100% green - and that’s important. It’s not just about going electric - it’s about ensuring that electricity comes from renewable sources."

"The transport sector is the second biggest source of the carbon emissions that cause climate change, so a shift to electric cars is not just the right decision economically, it’s an environmental necessity too."

The government refreshed its commitment to the EV cause by extending Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)incentive schemes to 2020 via a £500m funding package. Marry this with an expected increase in petrol prices coming in the next few weeks, it is not unreasonable to expect that EVs will start to see a significant rise in interest if not sales.

Dale Vince commented: "Petrol prices are on the rise again with the events in Ukraine about to add another couple of pence per litre - one of the great strengths of electric driving is that we can power our cars from the energy we make in this country. Energy independence for British transport will mean we won’t be at the mercy of external events and the inexorable rise of fuel prices."

The Electric Highway is starting to roll out new technology that caters for all three connector standards for EV chargers (Mennekes, CHAdeMO and the most recent of the three, CCS). This will allow even the latest models from Volkswagen and BMW (the e-UP! and i3) to access the network.

With government incentives and expanding EV model ranges from manufacturers working in tandem, Ecotricity believe filling the infrastructure gap will be the final piece in the EV puzzle. These latest usage figures are a positive indication of the strengthening EV market in the UK.

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