End to free charging for electric car users

November 30, -0001
  • Almost 50,000 electric or hybrid cars have been sold in Britain this year
  • Ecotricity, which runs charging network, will introduce fees to top up
  • Electric car users will be charged £6 for 30 minutes of electricity
  • A spokesman for Ecotricity said: ‘We’ve reached a tipping point’ 

By

Charlie Moore For Mailonline


Published:
07:46 EST, 16 July 2016

|
Updated:
08:07 EST, 16 July 2016

Electric car users now have to pay to charge up on the motorway after the vehicles have surged in popularity.

Almost 50,000 electric or hybrid cars have been sold in Britain this year and one in every 30 cars sold is powered by electricity.  

The rising demand has led green power company Ecotricity, which runs the charging network Electric Highway, to introduce fees for using charge points.   

Electric car users now have to pay to charge up on the motorway after the vehicles have surged in popularity

Electric car users now have to pay to charge up on the motorway after the vehicles have surged in popularity

Electric car users will be charged £6 for 30 minutes of electricity at any of the company’s 300 power points, reports The Times.

The fee has angered owners of hybrid vehicles who say it will cost them £1 to travel only five miles on their batteries.

A spokesman for Ecotricity said: ‘We’ve reached a tipping point, with usage of our network tripling. We now power two million miles a month.’ 

‘Each charger costs £50,000, so we need to introduce fees to be able to put more of them in popular locations.

The rising demand has led green power company Ecotricity, which runs the charging network Electric Highway, to introduce fees for using charge points

The rising demand has led green power company Ecotricity, which runs the charging network Electric Highway, to introduce fees for using charge points

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‘We’re aiming now at A-roads. We’re looking for locations and are in discussions with landowners and businesses.’

The company initially planned to charge £5 for 20 minutes but put its prices down after complaints from drivers, despite having a monopoly of chargers on the motorway network. 

Simon McCulloch, of Comparethemarket.com, said: ‘If there is no competition what’s to stop Ecotricity upping the price to £10? Electric propulsion is the future but there are big challenges that need to be addressed.’ 

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