As reported by the RAC, the run-up to Christmas 2022 perfectly demonstrates the supply and demand issues with motorway EV charging stations.
Experts predicted that frantic Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of December would be the busiest days for families travelling- with a predicted 7.9 million journeys on these days alone, and a further 11.7 million expected between Monday 19th of December and Christmas Eve.
However, will all of this extra traffic on the roads and the increasing uptake of EVs, will there be enough charge points for drivers travelling cross-country?
Unfortunately, it seems not.
Despite the 31% increase in public recharging stations since January 2022, now totalling 37,850 individual points across the UK, the infrastructure for recharging capacity is simply not increasing at a quick enough rate- as the number of battery-electric vehicles on the road breaches 680,000.
The need for alternative EV charging points
As such, drivers of EVs, particularly those travelling distances that go beyond the range of one charge, will need to find alternative places to recharge their vehicles.
The days of relying on motorway service stations for “refuelling” may well be long gone during very busy periods, causing drivers to look elsewhere.
But where else could you recharge?
Public EV chargers
Public EV chargers come in a wide range of locations, but importantly, as locations change, so does the power rating of available EV recharging points.
Unlike 3kW slow chargers, commuters will need at least a 7kW or 22kW fast charger, or preferably a 43kW rapid charger to be able to recharge quickly enough to resume their journey.
Fast chargers can be found traditionally in locations including car parks, supermarkets, and leisure centres, and could take between 3-4 hours to provide full range capabilities.
Less than ideal for those needing a full recharge, but perhaps doable for those not far from home.
For cars with rapid-charging capabilities, rapid chargers are ideal. Found most often in motorway service stations, petrol stations, and some supermarkets, these chargers can provide full range capabilities in around 30- 60 minutes.
These rapid chargers are most likely to be targeted by cross-country travellers, thanks to their convenient location at motorway service stations, and quick turnaround. Drivers can stop, plug in their cars, and be safe in the knowledge that they will have full battery capacity by the time they have finished a leisurely lunch in the on-site eateries.
It is arguable then, that increasing infrastructure needs to focus on two main areas:
- Rapid or even superfast charging stations
- Easily accessible charging stations, very close to major motorways
Domestic EV chargers
The other, perhaps underused, alternative to recharging is to utilise domestic EV chargers.
This method does involve more planning, it’s true, but as well as being available whenever you need it, domestic EV charging is much more economical- a factor that is becoming increasingly more important during this period of financial instability.
Domestic, or slow chargers, are usually rated up to 3kW and utilise overnight charging. In the 8-10 hours of charging time, full range capability can be collected.
It is possible to travel effectively using only domestic, slow chargers, #by following a few key travel tips:
- Charge up to 80% before setting off- charging to 100% increases stress on the battery, causing it to lose charge faster and can contribute to long-term battery degradation.
- Accurately plan the mileage of your route, taking into consideration expected temperatures and the types of roads you will use- very hot temperatures and steady motorway driving are big drains for EV batteries.
- Plan your stops before you set off, ensuring you stop before you need to. Your co-pilot can use websites such as PlugShare to check your preferred EV charge point is available en route too!
- Minimise cabin-based energy drains, including climate control, USB chargers, audio, and infotainment systems.
Contact us today for all your EV charging cable needs
No matter where you choose to stop and recharge, you will need a safe, reliable, and high-quality charging cable.
Not only do they cut down on potential safety risks, but the appropriately rated power cable can decrease the time needed to recharge- getting you on the move faster.