Fully Charged – The Electric Highway

JUL 13 2015 BY MARK KANE 18

The Electric Highway

The Electric Highway

Find out how to use electricity pumps.

Find out how to use electricity pumps.

This recent episode of Fully Charged is about using the Ecotricity Electric Highway charging points in UK.

As of today, Ecotricity offers 250 stations at over 150 locations and most of the chargers are compatible with all vehicles through one of the three plugs – CHAdeMO and Combo for DC charging or Type 2 for AC charging.

All you need is a free access card. Charging is still FREE.

According to the Ecotricity, the network already attracted almost 20,000 members.

Dale Vince, founder of the Electric Highway, said:

“The revolution in electric cars is here and it’s underway – the Electric Highway powering a million miles of emission free travel every month is one sign of that; the fact that sales of electric cars have quadrupled in the first five months of the year is another.

“The idea of being able to complete that iconic journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats in any electric car you can buy from a showroom is something quite special – if you’d have said that was possible five years ago, people would have laughed at you.

“Our Electric Highway already covers over 95% of the motorway network, and we’ve begun the installation of electricity pumps on A-roads and strategic locations such as airports and ports – with significant new funding just secured, we’ll be stepping on the gas in the coming months to keep pace with demand.”

The Electric Highway stats:

  • installed nearly 250 electricity pumps at over 150 locations
  • covered 95% of Britain’s motorway service stations
  • enabled electric car drivers to travel the length and breadth of the country and refuel in 20 minutes
  • powered more than 7 million miles of free travel since inception
  • attracted almost 20,000 members, with around 1,300 new members joining each month
  • won the 2014 Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel, having “kickstarted the uptake of electric cars” and is described as one of the best networks in the world

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18 Comments on "Fully Charged – The Electric Highway"

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“with significant new funding just secured, we’ll be stepping on the gas…”

Maybe we should just learn to call it the go pedal?

“Electricity pumps” – How strong is that box you’re in?

I think that was play of words too 😛

Like trampling or something 😉

Free charging can’t be a business model. In the end, it’s all tax money,

Ecotricity is a power company they give away free charging for a very good reason. Wait an see ecotrcity will / is using their network to get high power using customers.

Ah, no little kitten, this is just not true. A recent report released by Plug Share, a Recargo Company, states, as reviewed by E-Hike Dot Net that 63% of public EVFillingStation’s are free. These Perk Sites of the more then 32,000 sites in N. America are maintained by Business, Merchant’s, Hotelier’s, Landlords and Municipalities to increase Customer Retention and loyalty of the now over 1/3 of a million, 344,605+ to be exact, Electric Fueled Vehicle Owner’s in the USA. This adaaption rate is stuning as it has been only 43 months since Chevy Volt EREV and Nissan LEAF ended limited states beta sales and #EVsFirstWave and national sales began in November, of 2011. Link Goes To Cumulative US EV Sales Ticker, Plug In America Dot Org- http://www.pluginamerica.org/ Link Goes To Review Of Plug Share FREE EV Filling Station Report- http://e-hike.net/content/free-fuel-over-63-public-pev-charging-stations-us-are-free-use Kitty, more and more, big business is offering FREE Work Place Charging as sponsored by the Department of Energy. (#WorkPlaceChargingChallenge) Not only is this cheaper then the costly car pooling efforts put into place to reduce polution and smog, it can be as simple as offering a 110V AC outlet for all day EV Refueling allowing for an up to… Read more »

It is somewhat true that many are free but let’s look at one example. The mall near me went from two free chargers to two very expensive Blink network chargers @ .39/kWh. That is equivalent to a Volt costing $4.875 per gallon of gas to recharge (ie. 12.5 kWh) This is a mall and they want shoppers. I used to shop there when I had a chance to but now, do not even go there. Some Leafs do charge at this mall – the last two times I was near, I took a look at what cars were charging. Leafs can get 6.6KW rate of charge and it is a requirement not to run out of charge with a Leaf and they can somewhat justify paying $4.50 for gasoline equivalent, I guess (regular gas here is $2.85 right now).

We need some sort of rational public charging network future to be established. Going from Free to almost double the price of gasoline (at least here) is not going to get the common car buyer interested in plug-ins.

How about $.26/kWh for DCFC with wide distribution? That is .10/kWh higher than our public utility rates for a delivered kWh. Almost a 65% markup. That would be a nice future with fair pricing.

It’s like offering a bottomless cup of coffee with your breakfast at the diner.

It costs them virtually nothing, but you’d not visit there if they started charging you for it.

Absolutely! Businesses often sell items at cost or loss to bring in traffic. Sell hot dogs at cost and make profit off of buns, mustard, relish, etc.. Gas stations can’t survive selling gasoline: They profit off of beer, cigarettes, Doritos, and Coca-Cola. A restaurant can afford to give electricity away if it brings customers inside for 30 minutes or more to buy a meal. Recouping the costs of the EVSE is tougher.

“occasionally… there are problems with the chargers”

Yes, if occasionally is %50 of the time.

Me: hello, I swiped the card in front of your charger, nothing happened.

Operator: Well, I’ll activate it from here. Please provide me with a credit card. Please understand there will be a $20 hold placed on the card.

Me: I see it has started now. Oh, it charged for a second and then quit. Can you start it again?

Operator: Sorry about it. Yes I can start it again. What is your credit card number and information?

Me: I just gave you that!

Operator: we are not allowed to copy down your credit card information sir. Also understand there will be another $20 hold placed on the card.

Me: you are freeking kidding. Okay, here is the card again.


This is from an actual fast charge session I had last week. They told me my key fob clearly had issues. Just for fun I tried that on a slow charger sitting next to the fast charger, and it registered.

You did get refunds for the first charge?

The $20 is a “hold”, meaning that it does not actually get charged, but rather reduces your available credit. Its so that you can be charged if you do incur charges, etc. Same concept as deposit on a rental car.

It begs a story. I fly, as in pilot. I was using an automated fueling station at a remote airport down south. I was having a lot of trouble getting the pump to start, trying over and over again. Finally I gave up and fueled elsewhere.

When I got home, I found out they had charged me more than $1000 on the credit card, for no fuel. After a fair amount of work to find the phone # of the operator, I found that what had occurred was the pump places a $200 hold for fueling, and that hold had been repeated each time I tried to make it work.

It cleared in a couple of days. I think I gave them a piece of my mind. However, when it comes to machines, please remember that we humans have one great attribute that helps us out that machines will never have.

A sense of humor.

Latest? That episode aired two weeks ago and has been followed by 4 episodes since then.

Not even close to newest. Why does insideevs.com insist on posting articles so far behind the news cycle?

note: not all articles on this site are late. I just got the Blink charge for staying plugged in email last night and it is on insideevs.com today.

It’s just there seems to be a steady mix of new and behind the times articles on this site that makes me question why it’s like that.

Ok, we will change it to “recent episode”, (= To answer you questions, we actually took note of the story within an hour of it going online earlier this month, and had it drafted out an hour or so later…but as to “why” it wasn’t immediately put out is pretty basic. It is an interesting story, but not really a breaking/”news” story, or one you are likely to see elsewhere on the net – so it can hold a few days and still be ‘news’/fresh to 99.9% of readers. You see we release stories on the hour every day – so whenever readers come to the site looking to read about EVs they have something new waiting for them. Now if there is big and/or breaking story of interest (new releases, pricing, specs, recalls, etc), that news is put out immediately…most often well before anyone else (or we are breaking it ourselves), so readers know they will never miss anything of importance. However, in order to publish every hour/365 days of the year, and also only have same-day content…one would need that new content dropping all the time, and both a writer and editor would have to work every hour… Read more »
If it were a story I wouldn’t see elsewhere I wouldn’t mind it. But when I see the same story on slashdot, facebook, youtube, mynissanleaf.com, priuschat.com, and teslamotorsclub.com and have already seen every viewpiont hashed out and argued to death and then it hits insideevs.com two weeks later and some less informed reader makes a stupid comment… I can reply to all the uninformed posters and relive the conversations I had on 6 other sites for the 7th time or I can ignore it and let misinformation spread. Or maybe it’s your article itself I’m objecting to (a specific inaccuracy that needs to be corrected). Either way if you wrote it in the past and post it later without editing it again you are doing your site and your readers a disservice. If you don’t want to post it when it happens consider dropping the original copy but keep a note to write something about it later. Or read other coverage on it and add editorial notes/corrections/links to other coverage to show you know you are releasing dated material. There is a tradeoff to whatever method you choose. I just find this site hard to recommend in general because of… Read more »
Realistically, that can’t happen. We can’t write, queue, look for the story somewhere else over the next couple days, then read/research entire thread around the net, then re-write and publish. I’ve not seen this story published anywhere else (other than originally on YT) or any inaccuracies in it that need to be altered. It could obviously be seen/noted on a forum before we put it out, but the number of people who read/comment from there will only be very limited (~50 tops in most cases for a story like this). The amount of effort to pay someone to go around the web to find if an ‘of interest’ story, like this one about a EV highway in one particular country, has become a forum topic over a few days in the queue, then read the entire conversation and re-write to reflect sentiment/any extra data is not a doable thing. Again, a generic/information piece on the Ecotricity Electric Highway that was only uploaded 12 days ago is in (our opinion) not dated material. I don’t see “accuracy of content” to be an issue, I looked over your database of comments posted here, and I don’t see any cases of you correcting… Read more »