Round Britain by EV

for free

Free supermarket charging
Electric vehicles public charging
Peugeot e-208 charging

CANNY EV drivers could drive all round mainland Britain without spending a penny on recharging their cars, according to new research.

The claim comes from Peugeot UK which has mapped a 2,688 mile route around the coast recharging at chargers which are free to use with the costs picked up by retailers, landowners and some local authorities.

The research is made even more significant with the news from EV charge-point mapping service Zap-Map that the cost of recharging an electric vehicle on the public network increased by as much as 15 per cent in September compared with prices recorded in June.

Zap-Map's findings show that, in September, the average weighted price of charging at a slow or fast charger - typically found on-street or at a destination such as supermarkets or car parks - was 39p/kWh, while the price for a rapid or ultra-rapid charge point, typically used for high speed en-route charging, was 56p/kWh.

This compared with 34p/kWh for slow/fast charge points and 49p/kWh for rapid/ultra-rapid chargers in June - increases of 15 and 14 per cent respectively.

But, according to Peugeot's research, clever drivers could cut costs by making use of around 4,400 free charge points located in retail parks, hotels and on public car parks around Britain.

The company plotted a route starting at Land's End, running 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.

The furthest distance between two free charge points on the route was a 168 stretch between Chelmsford and Sandringham which is well within the range of many electric vehicles. Driving the same route in a petrol or diesel version of the same car can cost drivers up to £421 says Peugeot.

According to Zap-Map, 84 per cent of free public chargers are "fast" meaning they will charge a car at between 7.5kW and 22kW, allowing owners to fully charge their car in seven hours and 33 minutes from a 7kWh charger, or as little as five hours using an 11kWh charging point when fitted with an optional 11kW on-board charger.

Says Peugeot UK MD Julie David: "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."

Meanwhile the latest Zap-Map analysis shows that in spite of the increasing cost of charging, brought about by burgeoning wholesale electricity prices, it is still cheaper to run an electric vehicle than a conventionally-powered car with an internal combustion engine (ICE).

A driver charging at home 80 per cent of the time would save around £1,200 per year versus an ICE car, says the company, while a driver charging solely on the public network using a combination of slow/fast and rapid/ultra-rapid charging would save around £900 per year.

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