4500% Increase In UK’s Electric Highway Use

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According to some new data on Britain’s electric highway, the use of the electric vehicle charging stations has taken a significant boost compared to last year. Overall electricity consumption has increased 4,500% and the number of registered users has increased by 64%.

Image: electric highway via Ecotricity

The increase in electricity consumption rose 4,500% between February and April 2013 compared to last year. The overall consumption went from 87kWh to 4,000kWh and the registered users went from 244 to over 500 in the same time period. The recent increases are partly due to the addition of three new super chargers added to the existing 14 chargers located at motorway service stations around the country.

The network of charging stations was created by Ecotricity, which offers the EV charging for free. Dale Vince the founder had this to say about using motorway stations: “While the majority of charging points in Britain are in towns and city centres — we believe this is actually where they are needed the least. We chose the motorway network for good reason and now that we are adding super-chargers into these locations, we can solve the problem of range anxiety and charging times in one go.”

Vince is very optimistic about the potential of the electric highway and the future of EVs. “Of course electric car ownership is starting from a very low base — but couple the fact that petrol prices remain stubbornly high, the Electric Highway is free to use and zero carbon — this shows the massive potential for growth if you put the right technology in the right place.”

With most Brits commuting less than 25 miles a day and most having off-street parking available, it is safe to say that Vince’s theory is correct. The infrastructure would be mostly used by those who would be looking to take a long journey.

Ecotricity is now focusing  on installing 50kW DC fast chargers, for a full recharge time of approximately 30 minutes. Again, these are free to use — just register for a swipe card on Ecotricity’s website. Look for more fat chargers to be added this summer. It will be interesting to see the data for next year when more of the fast chargers are in place.

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