Ecotricity, who own the so called electric highway in the UK are to start charging for charge – if you like. A £5 fee will come into effect from Friday 5th of August.
The company has started upgrading its hardware of their entire charging network to accept payments from a new app and it expects all of its chargers to accept payments by Friday 5 August. Users must download a new Electric Highway app, which enables drivers to pay at the charge station. The app also shows a live network of Ecotricity chargers to see the location and availability and of course, the status of charge so far if you are using it.
The company operates nearly 300 charging points across the country, with 99% of them at motorway service stations, but they plan to double the number of chargers in two years and introduce them to larger towns and cities. A rapid charge point could give an electric car an 80% charge after 20 minutes. But the good news is that there are still around 20 standard lower rate chargers in their network – these will remain free to use.
Ecotricity claims that the use of its charging points trebled last year. The company issued a statement which said: “It is now necessary to start charging for the service in order to maintain and grow the network.”
An interesting claim there, as my experience has found these motorway charge points either out of order or already in use by a battered old panel van with its occupants often found queuing in Greggs for the £3 breakfast roll and a coffee deal!