Electric Highway tariffs will still undercut petrol or diesel, says Ecotricity
Speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum this week, the Electric Highway’s managing director, Simon Crowfoot, believes there will be a small drop-off in usage as a result, but only at first.
“Because of where they’re located on the main arterial roads I don’t think it will detract that much for people who have made that decision [to use an electric vehicle]. The price differential will be huge compared to the cost of petrol or diesel so it will still be commercially sensible for them to do it,” he said, adding that it would provide some breathing space to grow the network.
The Electric Highway, which first went live on the M1 from London to Leeds two years ago, now spans most motorway service stations in the UK as well as city centre Ikea stores. It provides rapid charging for compatible electric vehicles, and both membership and usage are currently free of charge. Around 6,500 members use the network at least once a month.
“A lot of those people have completely abandoned their combustion engine vehicle and moved to electric,” said Crowfoot. “What we thought would act as a way to get people to buy cars has gone a step further; people have completely abandoned their conventional mode of transport and moved to an electrical mode.
“We’re somewhat staggered by the number of people now travelling around doing their work and leisure time in an electric car, driving the length and breadth of the UK despite the limitations of electric cars – the range and speed of charging still has some way to go.”