Two words you may hear mentioned by electric car skeptics: ‘range anxiety’. This is the fear that when your car starts running low on electric power, you could be stranded with nowhere nearby to charge up again. Such fears might have been well-founded in the early days of electric cars, but the reality is now very different, as drivers of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF will know. Britain’s electric charging network is growing at a rapid rate – in fact, a study by Nissan shows that there could be more electric charging stations than fuel stations by 20201. Let’s take a look at key facts about the UK’s electric charging network.
Where to charge
According to Zap-Map, a map detailing the UK’s car charging network, there are currently almost 4,500 charging locations in the UK, providing nearly 13,000 charging points2. Nissan’s research suggests the number of charging locations will grow to 7,900 by 2020. With the number of fuel stations declining as cars become more efficient, there could be more electric charging stations than fuel stations in the UK within the next three years. Plus, of course, electric car owners can ‘fill up’ their cars at home – you can’t easily do that with a petrol- or diesel-powered car.
Plug your Nissan LEAF into your standard mains electricity and it will take 12-15 hours to fully charge. But install a 32A home charging unit and that time is slashed to between seven and nine hours, depending on the size of the battery inside your LEAF. Better still, if you use the LEAF’s rapid charge port at a public charging point, you can reach 80% charge in just 30 minutes.
Finding a charing point
Public charging points are located across the country – and they often cost nothing at all to plug into. Many Nissan dealers include free-to-use electric chargers3, and you can find them at a range of other locations, including a number of shopping centres, trading estates & entertainment complexes. To take the hassle out of searching, the Zap-Map app is available on Apple and Android smartphones. It’s constantly updated with information on every charging point in the UK, making it super-simple to find a place to plug in.
What Car? is committed to helping drivers understand the real cost of motoring. That’s why it’s developed True MPG, the ultimate guide to how many miles a car really does to the gallon. Of course, when it comes to fuel efficiency, the Nissan LEAF is right at the front of the pack: it uses no combustible fuel at all, and is 100% electric. In fact, the cost of powering the Nissan LEAF is just 1.64p per mile4. No wonder it won ‘Best Green Car’ and ‘Best MPG and Running Costs’ in the 2017 Driver Power Survey.
1 source: http://newsroom.nissan-europe.com/uk/en-gb/media/pressreleases/148556/more-electric- car-charging- stations-than- fuel-stations-by- 2020 2 source: zap-map.com 3 https://www.nissan.co.uk/dealer-locator.html 4 cost based on British Gas Standard tariff Economy 7 Direct Debit unit rates as at 1/11/2016