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EV network links Birmingham and Bristol to London

Ecotricity has opened new charging points on the M4 and M42 as part of a national charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

By Kari Williamson

The charging points link Bristol, Birmingham and London, and will be powered by Ecotricity's wind turbines and solar farms around the UK.

The Electric Highway charging points are at Welcome Break service stations on the M25/M1, M40, M4 and M5:

  • Hopwood Park services (M42 at junction 2)
  • Membury services (M4 between London and Bristol – between J14 and J15)
  • South Mimms services (M25 and M1 junction)
  • Michaelwood services (M5 between Bristol and Birmingham)
  • Oxford services (M40 between London and Birmingham – junction 8a at Oxford)
  • A sixth ‘top-up zone’ is also located at the base of an Ecotricity windmill: Green Park windmill (M4 near Reading)

More to come

Ecotricity says 12 ‘top-up-zones’ will soon be located at motorway services around the country to complete the first phase of the EV charging network. Within 18 months, all 27 Welcome Break motorway services across Britain will have charging points.

EVs using rapid recharge points (32 A supply) can top-up in 20 minutes or fully charge in two hours; while those using the slower (13 A supply) will be able to recharge fully if staying overnight at motorway service hotels.

Breaking the egg

Dale Vince OBE, Founder of Ecotricity, says: “People have asked why we are building this Electric Highway when there are only about 2000 electric cars on the road today. In fact that’s a big part of the reason – a lack of demand.

“It’s often said that one of the reasons more people don't buy electric cars is because of a lack of charging facilities – while the reason more charging facilities aren’t built is because not enough people are buying electric cars – classic chicken and egg stuff. We’re hoping to break that impasse.”

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