The staycation is being lauded as the solution for UK holidaymakers whilst the pandemic continues to disrupt foreign travel plans. But the reality for electric vehicle owners might not be plain sailing.
Following a recent survey, NLT Electrical and sister company Charge and Recharge found that the struggle to find charging points across the UK can seriously hinder travel plans for ev owners.
According to ev vehicle owners surveyed, 95 per cent consider there to be inadequate provision on UK motorways and at public venues such as hotels and leisure facilities, and 92 per cent feel town centres are under-equipped with accessible charging points.
Although comments included that there are huge variations in supply depending on where in the country you travel, the overwhelming majority support the conclusion that there is simply not the charging capacity in place to make longer journeys in electric cars viable. This places ev owners at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to planning a UK break.
Local travel only
Some respondents said they use their electric car for local travel only and an alternative petrol or diesel vehicle for longer journeys, which defeats the object of owning a greener car.
One lady commented: “Until March I had a Nissan Leaf and despite getting the 30kw version I was lucky to get any more than 100 miles.
“There’s simply not enough chargers available to drive long distance.
“I have a Tesla now so I am considering it, although it’s still much easier to use hubby’s diesel!”
As ev’s become more commonplace on UK roads, demand for charging points is growing at a much faster pace than the supply chain.
Maintenance is another issue
And maintenance is another issue entirely. Even where chargers are installed, it can be hit and miss as to whether they are functioning with almost 50 per cent of respondents saying they had experienced issues with ‘out of service’ charging points.
Tesla seem to be ahead of the curve in terms of providing and maintaining a reliable network of charging points, but other models aren’t served nearly as well.
Zoe Wheeler, director of Charge and Recharge, said: “It’s evident from our survey results that ev drivers currently don’t have the confidence to use their electric cars when travelling further.
“This has massive implications as the number of electric vehicles rises, and as the number of people wanting to use their own transport for staycations increases.
“If you’ve made the switch to a more environmentally friendly mode of personal transport, which we’re being encouraged to do, this shouldn’t put you at a disadvantage.
“You should feel confident in using it wherever you plan to travel in the country.
“This is the issue we’re looking to address with Charge and Recharge, creating dedicated and reliable ev charging stations across the British road network.”
The independent survey was conducted by NLT Electrical / Charge and Recharge in June and July 2020 with 61 electric vehicle owners from across the UK responding.Posted on 19th August 2020