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The study carried out by experts at Vanarama found that charging during the average weekly shop (lasting 41 minutes) would add 34 cost-free miles to an electric car’s battery each time. Across the year, this is 1,742 miles of charge from simply plugging in at a free supermarket charge point.
That’s a quarter of the average UK driver’s yearly miles (6,800 miles), meaning drivers could effectively drive for free for three months of the year.
Vanarama’s research calculated the cost of electricity that drivers are saving by charging at supermarkets during their weekly shop, based on the current electricity price of 34p per kWh.
Over the year it’s £133.02 in savings, not a bad result for savings that can be made with no extra effort.
Supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, Lidl, and Aldi offer shoppers free fast charging at rates of up to 22kW.
However only a handful of EVs are capable of 22kW AC charging, so Vanarama’s figures are calculated using the 11kW rate that’s compatible with the majority of EVs.
At that rate, charging during a weekly shop (lasting 41 minutes on average) would add 34 cost-free miles to your EV’s battery each time.
Across the year that is 1,742 miles of charge from simply plugging in at a free supermarket charge point. That’s a quarter of the average UK driver’s yearly miles (6,800 miles).
Electric vehicle owners across England will also be able to benefit from thousands of new charge points, thanks to new funding from the Department for Transport.
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A total of 2,400 new electric vehicle charge points will be installed in locations such as Cumbria, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and West Sussex as part of £56million in public and industry funding.
Sixteen more local authority areas will receive money as part of the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme.
The three original pilot schemes – in Durham, the London borough of Barnet and North Yorkshire – will be expanded.
Councils will also be given support to work with private operators toward the installation of “tens of thousands more” charge points in the long term, according to the DfT.
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At the end of January 2023, there were 37,851 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 22,355 charging locations.
This represents a 31 percent increase in the total number of charging devices since January 2022, according to data from Zap-Map.
The department said the Government has already spent more than £2billion to support the move to zero-emission vehicles.
Jesse Norman, transport minister and MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said the announcement would be welcomed by EV drivers.
He said: “The Government is giving local authorities across England additional help today to energise their charge point roll-out plans.
“This commitment will lead to thousands of new chargers being installed, and plans for tens of thousands extra in due course, so that more people than ever can make the transition to using EVs.”
Fewer than 9,000 public EV charging devices were installed in the UK last year, leading to claims that the infrastructure is not keeping up with demand.
The UK Government is pushing ahead with its plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from the end of this decade.
Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions.
Petrol, diesel and hybrid HGVs over 26 tonnes could be banned from 2040, subject to a Government consultation.
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