Drivers face wait of a day and a half to charge EVs in some parts of the UK

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New research has cast light on the shocking amount of time many drivers are facing to charge up their EV batteries. The study, by automotive experts Car Lease Special Offers, analysed the number of EVs per city and their public charging points to reveal how long owners have to wait to recharge their vehicles using public chargers. 

Using the most popular EV on the market, the Tesla Model 3, on an average charge of 50 minutes each, the findings determined that EV owners in Leeds would have the largest waiting times.

Leeds has an average of 37.2 electric vehicles per public charging point, by far the highest of the 30 UK cities reviewed.

If all the owners turned up at once, the queueing time would be an eye-watering 31 hours with 50 minutes of charging time each.

This is almost double the estimated waiting time for the second-highest, with Belfast clocking in at 19 hours of waiting (22.8 EVs per charge point).

The unwanted bronze medal goes to Southend-on-Sea, which would leave a driver waiting for 16 hours 15 mins (19.5 EVs per charge point).

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, Coventry can stake the claim to being the best major UK city for catering to EV owners, as their estimated waiting time if everyone queued at once would only be one hour 30 minutes, with 1.8 EVs per charging point.

Sunderland also performs well in this category, with 2.9 EVs per changing point and an estimated worst-case scenario waiting time of 2 hours 25 mins.

Liverpool had the third best ratio at 3.6 EVs per charge point, and a round 3 hours of waiting time.

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Find Free Charging Points Where You Can
There are thousands of free electric vehicle charging points available in the UK, with these dotted around different locations such as supermarkets, car parks, shopping centres, and hotels. There are also some free charging points at selected service stations, but they may have a time limit on them.

Know Your Surroundings: Where’s the Closest Public Charge Point?
Knowing where exactly the nearest public charger is to your location is useful, so that you aren’t wasting power by travelling around the area looking for one. Zap Map shows the location of all public EV charging points, and allows you to filter by the type of location, whether they’re free or paid, if they are 24 hours access, as well as the networks and connector types.

Install a Home Charger
Unfortunately, the Electric Vehicle Homecharger Scheme (EVHS) from the government ended in March 2022. Installing a 7kW smart home charger costs around £899, while slower chargers are available for a cheaper price if you want to save on the installation costs – a 3kW charger costs between £250 and £500 to install.

Go to Public Charging Stations at Off-Peak Times
It’s best to plan what time you’re going to be visiting your local charge point. Off-peak times will naturally be a lot quieter when visiting the free locations at the likes of supermarkets and shopping centres. Essentially, try to avoid between 7am-10am, 12pm-2pm and 4pm-7pm if you can, as these are likely to be the busiest times.

Encourage Your Employer to Invest in Charge Points for Work
If you need to travel to work your employer may not know that they can take advantage of a government grant as part of the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). This can cover up to 75 percent of the cost and a maximum of £350 for each socket, up to 40 sockets.

Make Sure You’re Using the Fastest Available Charger
There are a few different types of EV chargers, which are fairly self-explanatory thanks to their names. These are: Rapid and Ultra Rapid, Fast and Slow. Check your EV’s charging capabilities and Zapmap for locations.

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