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Dear Ms Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
These are exciting times in the world of electric cars.
It seems like all of the major car manufacturers now either have an electric model on offer, or will very shortly. Along with this increased choice, we’re seeing car prices come down, as production ramps up and the driving range of new cars steadily increases – it’s exactly what we hope to see, more cars, with greater range and lower prices.
Things are moving at pace with the Electric Highway too.
It was only around the middle of last year that we began to roll out the fast AC and DC chargers and by the end of the year we had installed these ‘Ecotricity pumps’ (as we like to think of them) in half of all motorway services. In February this year we completed the M4 roll out with an Ecotricity pump on every service station from London to Wales. We’ve also begun to double up now, with two pumps in each location, to cope with the additional demand that is coming.
And we’re adding a third standard to the pumps, known as CCS (Combined Charging System) – as used by BMW (the i3) and VW (the eUp and eGolf) – three new cars launched in the last few months which will be able to use the Electric Highway.
By the end of this year we expect to have installed Ecotricity pumps in every single motorway service station in Britain. That should pretty much enable electric car drivers to drive the length and breadth of our country.
There are parts of the country that the motorways don't get too close to of course, and we’re beginning now to roll out the Electric Highway to strategically important A-roads.
You can keep up to date with our Electric Highway – locations, old and new, on our website map.
We’ve had some teething problems with the technology, but – working closely with Nissan – we’ve identified a design fault as the root cause.
Two weeks from now we’ll begin a short program to replace one of the components in all of our pumps to temporarily improve their reliability, before implementing a major upgrade beginning in June. If you’ve had any problems with our Electric Highway I apologise for any inconvenience, and assure you this problem has had our full attention. I hope you’ll understand that this is new technology and teething problems are perhaps to be expected – the good news is that those teething problems will very soon be behind us.
That’s the update, more cars, more range and more places to top up – good times to drive electric.
Dale Vince MBE