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You Can Now Charge At More Supermarkets, However, This is Not Solving The Problem of EV Charging

The number of supermarkets offering public electric vehicle charging points has doubled in the past two years according to recent research, however is this actually good news?

Research completed by Zap Map and the RAC has shown there are now an additional 313 supermarkets which offer charge points. This brings the total to 608 in total, an ‘impressive’ five percent of all stores.

The overwhelming PR surrounding this is positive , and the fact that there has been a doubling of the number of charge points is positive, however the fact that the total is such a small percentage is less impressive.

Of course, the fact that you may wish to charge your vehicle while you shop is sensible. You have time when your vehicle is not being used and this can be used to provide charge time, and if we are to meet the objective of having all new vehicles being electric in just fifteen years we will have to accelerate the progress of charge point installation by an order of magnitude.

The number of electric vehicles on the road is growing. Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders indicate that 38,000 new electric new cars were bought in 2019, more than double the total in the previous year. The sales new electric vehicles are growing faster than the infrastructure available to support them.

The Charge For a Charge

Another major issue with public charge points is the cost of charging. For years charging has been either free in many locations or offered at an attractive cost. However, as the market share grows, the market economy dictates that the cost of charging is likely to increase.

A report published by What Car detailed the variety of costs for vehicle charging with one public charging company charging a costly 69p per kWh for ultra rapid charging at motorway service stations in the UK.

The ultra fast chargers offered by Ionity, a joint venture between BMW Group, the Ford Motor Company, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen Group, are priced in such a way that a home charge which would usually cost £4.66 to reach 80% charge capacity would cost an astounding £45.89.

The What Car report stated that, based on these figures, someone who regularly charges using public chargers would end up paying more to drive their vehicles than it would to run a comparable diesel engined vehicle.  So, for example, using this charger could cost 34p per mile when an efficient diesel would cost only 22p per mile.

Of course, we all know that motorway fuel prices are going to be higher than what we would usually find on the high street, and it seems electricity is no exception, however, it is a cautionary tale for individuals who need to charge on the go.

There are vastly differing prices for public charging, from Polar Plus at just 15p per kWh to Ionity at 69p, it will mean that there will be some ‘shopping around’ to be done using apps or online searches to ensure that you are not paying too much to charge.

Avoiding The Cost

Of course, part of the solution is to install a home charge point. To date, many electric vehicle drivers do not have a dedicated charge point in their homes, relying on unsafe ‘granny chargers’ (basically a 13 amp plug in charger trailed out of an open window).

Home charge points offer a safe and effective way to charge your vehicle at a cost of 7p per kWh or less. With the introduction of Smart charging you can be sure that you are only using the lowest electricity tariff or even micro-generation, such as household solar meaning that you can charge your vehicle for nothing.

Pauline Mclaughlin of EVChargepoints.com says; “People think that having a home charge point will be expensive, however, as there are Government grants that are available to cover much of the cost of purchase and installation it is much cheaper than they may imagine. It means the cost of installing your own charge point will be saved within a few months against public charging.”

Without a home charge point you are left to rely on costly public charge points or risk charging your vehicle using non-weatherproof extension leads. Electric vehicle drivers are encouraged to act quickly to take advantage of the attractive Government grants while they are available. Currently you can apply for up to £500 off the cost of home or workplace charge points.

There will always be times when, on longer journeys, that it will be necessary to use a public charge point, however with a home charge point you will find that you will almost never need to pay more for your car and enjoy true, cost effective motoring.

Published by evccharging.com

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