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UK electric car charging forecourt
15 Jan 2021

UK’s first all electric car charging forecourt opens

By Robin
  • Read time: 3 minutes
It has always been hinted that the UK government is focused on banning the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars. This has made it important to work towards having as many electric car charging points as possible in the nation’s infrastructure. This article covers the latest development about the opening of the first EV charging forecourt in the UK.

Where is the forecourt located?

The newly opened forecourt is found in Braintree, Essex; and Gridserve operates it. It was said that in the next five years, the country should have at least 100 sites, with this being the first. This is inspired by the fact that the demand for electric charging accessories shall escalate in the next few years.

At the moment, there are many sites that provide EV charging services. Most of these are Tesla’s Supercharger Installations, but not everyone can afford a Tesla, so the government and other organisations are compelled to chip in.

Currently, in the UK, there are at least 36 charging points that deliver up to 350kW charging rates. Many other public EV chargers can be located in and around shopping centres, supermarkets and service stations with a wide range of charging speeds on offer.

Electric forecourt

What does this mean for ICE vehicles?

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles have been here with us since the beginning of the modern world. Though there is going to an exponential shift to the EVs, we still expect to see them around for some time. It is believed that the transition will take a longer time.

However, since the government is regulating the sale of engine and petrol engine vehicles from 2030, quite a number of automobile companies are going to be hugely affected. Some of them have already started to feel the hiccups caused by the sudden ban on their products.

Is the move necessary?

The UK officially opened the charging forecourt in late 2020, a move that was quite expected. There are many reasons why it is believed that the shift to EV is the best for everyone. ICE vehicles tend to emit harmful substances to the environment and are, therefore, considered harmful for human existence.

The move is, thus, necessary as far as a healthy future through clean energy is concerned. The EVs can be charged for between 30 minutes and 12 hours, depending on the battery size. Therefore, they are highly convenient and, on a full charge, can serve you for more than three days, especially when you only use the EV to commute to work and back.

How much does it cost to charge an EV?

The EVs’ fuel efficiency is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Thus, to come up with the cost per mile of your EV, you will have to check the cost of electricity and the efficiency of the vehicle. You will need to calculate the amount of electricity that your vehicle needs to travel 100 miles.

For instance, if electricity costs 13 pence per kWh and your EV consumes 33kWh to cover 100 miles, then your cost per mile is just 4 pence. Therefore, you need to use the right figures to determine the cost of charging your EV within the UK and its proximity.

Electric car charging public

The disadvantages of electric charging

There are many advantages of electric charging, but there are some cons that are worth noting. The main disadvantage is that they take much longer than the typical petrol or diesel counterpart to refill.

This implies that cars that show up at the charging point will stay there for at least 30 minutes to acquire a decent charge. Thankfully, there are some devices that support faster-charging speeds but are still not available to many customers.

With the faster-charging gadgets, EVs will be able to acquire at least 200 miles range in a span of 20 minutes. However, this rate will vary based on the type of vehicle you are using. The recently opened forecourt also has a 6MWh battery that can be used to store energy and stabilise the grid.

There is a wide range of remote and local solar stations that provide power. It is advisable that you have an extra battery so that you can store power and use it when you are in need. The storage battery is a great option since it has around 24,000 miles readily available.

Are EVs cheaper?

Though there are many reasons someone might want to invest in EVs, many potential users want to find out whether they are cheaper to drive. Without saying much, it is true that EVs are more expensive compared to your liquid fuel vehicle. It is also imperative to consider the fact that in the long run, you will be saving a great deal of money by purchasing an EV.

Firstly, EVs are going to be mandatory in the UK, at least in the next few years. Their batteries have a lifespan of 20 years, but this might be affected by how you treat the car and its battery. With many people using their cars for as long as 15 years, if they were to use fuel, they would spend more compared to if they opted for an EV.

According to experts, using an EV means you will save around £1,000 on running costs per year, and the figures could even be higher. Therefore, while EVs might seem expensive to acquire, in the long run, you will be able to save a great deal of money.

Final thoughts

Electric vehicles are going to be the only new cars one can purchase in the UK from 2030. In the past few weeks, the opening of the charging forecourt is a sure indication that the country is focused on abandoning ICE vehicles forever.

If you currently have a fuel or petrol engine vehicle, there is nothing to worry about since the process will take some time. However, you should start planning on how to survive with an EV since that is where the future is headed.

Do you want the charging station mounted on the wall or on a pole?
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Written by Robin

Writes blogs about e-mobility and climate solutions for 50five.