Six electric car charging stations will be available at motorway services by 2023

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Transport Minister Rachel Maclean has confirmed new chargers would arrive before 2023 to ensure at least six bays available at each service station on busy motorways. The Government has also committed to breaking the monopoly on motorway charging stations for the benefit of road users.

Currently, only one company has the contract in place to operate charging ports along the network but the Minster has confirmed this will change as part of a plan to update the infrastructure.

Speaking to electric car experts, Ms Maclean said the private sector would be brought in to take up commercial opportunities.

She said: “We do believe it will take Government investment to ‘charge up’ this market.

“So we’ve got nearly £1 billion to upgrade those connections at motorway service stations.

“What we are going to have is at least six high power chargers in every motorway service area by 2023.”

Maclean added “We want the private sector to come in and we will take the best commercial offer.

“Now we have set out our strategy, this is an attractive area for investment. This will drive an increase in performance.”

Ms Maclean confirmed new chargers would be a minimum of 150kW to ensure road users could charge their car as they grabbed a coffee.

Larger sites will have up to 12 new chargers capable of up to 350kW to increase efficiency.

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The new chargers would need to be available to anyone with a contactless payment card and would be in addition to any specially adapted Tesla units already installed at many services.

Agreements will be put into place to ensure the points were available at least 99 percent of the time while customers will need to be able to access customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It will also be a requirement for clear pricing information to be displayed next to the bays with the Government set to introduce new legislation designed to enforce these standards.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis welcomed the updates which would make a “big difference” to many motorists.

He said: “This is great news as charging electric cars at motorway service areas needs to be fast, reliable and easy to pay for so drivers can make longer journeys with the minimum of fuss.

“Nothing is more frustrating to an electric car driver than the sight of an out-of-order charge point, so the fact that there will be a commitment to having chargers ‘in service’ will make a big difference.

“The promise of clear pricing is also important as drivers are used to knowing what they’d be paying before filling up, thanks to petrol price ‘totems’ on forecourts.

“It should also go a long way towards showing would-be EV drivers that ‘range anxiety’ is a thing of the past, further speeding up the switch to electric.”

Longer-term, Ms Maclean said a further 6,000 rapid charging points will be available across A-roads and motorway service stations by 2030.

She added: “We have doubled the funding available to local councils to improve charging infrastructure.

“What I would say to anyone listening to this who thinks ‘I haven’t got one near my house’ is to get in touch with your local council.

“We in central government have made this money available but some of it is not being spent, which is a real shame.”

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