All motorway services stations in England will have a minimum of six super-fast EV charging points by 2023, under a new government “vision”.
The ambitious roll-out was announced as part of the Government’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by improving infrastructure on England’s major roads.
Under the plan, 2,500 new ultra-rapid chargers with outputs between 150kW and 350kW will be installed along motorways and A roads by 2030 as part of a previously announced £500 million investment in charging infrastructure.
At the moment there are 809 open-access rapid (50kW) along England’s motorway and A road network, with an average of two rapid chargers at each motorway service station. The new plan would see this increase to at least six ultra-fast points at each site by 2023, with larger facilities having up to 12.
Range anxiety and concerns over charging availability away from home are often cited as concerns about switching to an EV and the Government hopes that by rapidly increasing the number and power of charging stations it will help encourage more drivers to make the switch.
It says it expects the 2023 target to be sufficient to meet demand from drivers by that point but plants to have around 6,000 ultra-rapid chargers in place by 2035 - the proposed date for the banning of all new petrol and diesel vehicles.
Ultra-rapid chargers can charge vehicles at up to three times the speed of standard 50kW rapid chargers, meaning the new units should be able to add between 125 and 145 miles of range in 15 minutes.
However, very few current EVs can take full advantage of the ultra-rapid provision. While most can use ultra-fast units to charge at up to 50kW, only a few, such as the Audi e-tron are capable of receiving a 150kW charge.
The planned roll-out should make it simpler for drivers of any EV to charge at any station. Currently, not all charge points support all electric vehicles but under the plans, all new chargers will have to support all types of EVs and connectors.
They will also have to be open-access, ie. not tied to a single make like Tesla’s Supercharger network, and accept credit or debit card payment rather than using a subscription service as many currently do. The plan also calls for clear pricing in pence per kWh at all charging points.