Electric car owners can drive around Great Britain for free

UK: Free electric vehicle charging network adds new location

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Thanks to the UK’s network of electric car charging stations, motorists can drive around mainland Britain without spending a penny on recharging. More than a tenth of the UK’s 35,000 public chargers are free to use, with drivers not having to pay at around 4,400 charging points.

A new road trip route from Peugeot UK has plotted a 2,688-mile journey around the coastline of mainland Britain to highlight the extent of the cost-saving infrastructure. 

Starting at Land’s End, the route runs along England’s southern and eastern coasts, up through Scotland via John O’Groats before returning to Land’s End through Wales using only free public chargers.

Driving the same route in a petrol or diesel version of the same car can cost drivers up to £421.

Many of the approximately 4,400 free charge points in Britain are located in retail parks, hotels and public car parks and are funded by retailers, landowners and some Local Authorities.

This allows drivers to charge overnight or run errands while their vehicles charge. 

The ChargePlace Scotland network features more than 2,000 chargers.

The majority of these are available for free to users who have the ChargePlace Scotland app or who pay a one-off £10 fee for a charging card.

The furthest distance between two free charge points on the route between Chelmsford and Sandringham, is 168 miles.

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Julie David, Managing Director, Peugeot UK, praised the data, saying it showed how charging affordability could be seen around the country.

She said: “Road trips are a great way to experience what the UK has to offer and our research shows the significant cost savings available for electric vehicle drivers thanks to its network of free-to-use public chargers. 

“While few motorists are likely to complete the full 2,688-mile loop, our research highlights the potentially under-used free charging network in the UK.”

An 80 percent charge using a 50kW rapid charger costs an estimated £26, while using home charging, and taking advantage of lower energy tariffs can bring the same charge down to just £6.80. 

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According to Zap-Map, 84 percent of free public chargers are “fast” meaning they will charge a car at between 7.5kW and 22kW.

This allows owners to fully charge their car in seven hours and 33 minutes from a 7kWh charger, or as little as five hours when fitted with an optional 11kW on-board charger (from an 11kWh chargepoint).

The Peugeot e-208 has a WLTP range of 225 miles, meaning it will easily handle the distance between the free chargers in Chelmsford and Sandringham.

To make life on the road easier, the PEUGEOT e-208 supports up to 100kW rapid charging, taking just 30 minutes to charge from zero to 80 percent.

In a bid to keep up with net zero goals, Peugeot will offer an electrified version of every model in its range by 2023.

At the end of October 2022, there were 35,778 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 21,378 charging locations. 

This represents a 35 percent increase in the number of charging devices since October 2021, based on Zap-Map data.

Between the end of 2016 and 2021 the charge point network grew four-fold from 6,500 to more than 28,000 devices.

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