In less than a century since Britain’s first fuel station opened, the number of forecourts has peaked, declined and been overtaken by charging stations designed for battery-powered cars.
In fact, there are now almost 1,000 more public places to charge electric cars than there are forecourts to pump petrol in the UK – 9,300 EV charging locations.
Almost 80% of UK petrol stations have closed since 1970, while the number of electric vehicle charging locations has increased from just a few hundred eight years ago to around 9,300 EV charging locations in August 2019. That’s compared to 8,400 fuel stations, according to data supplied by Zap-Map.
Of these locations, more than 1,600 provide ‘rapid charging’, and can recharge a typical EV battery to around 80% in under an hour. According to Zap-Map, a website which enables drivers to locate and update EV charge points in UK & Ireland, two new rapid charge devices came online every day in the last month. Almost all UK motorway service stations have charging stations installed, the majority of which provide a rapid charge option.
Transport for London has installed more than 1,000 EV charge points in the last year alone, yet supply of conventional fuel within the capital is becoming scarcer. Central London now has nearly half as many petrol stations per car as the Scottish Highlands; only four remain within the congestion-charge zone.
Most electric vehicle owners only need to charge at home however, so the UK government is looking to further support EV adoption, recently announcing a proposal for the installation of charge points for EVs in all new housing.
Driving tips for the school run Now that the dreaded school run has started again, the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ RoadSmart division offers advice on surviving the term-time road rush.
• Make sure everyone is in the right seat. If you use child or booster seats, make sure they are fit for purpose and correctly secured. Visit Good Egg for some tips: www.goodeggcarsafety.com
• Pack for success. Depending on the age of your little ones, pack some healthy treats to distract them and keep them engaged, even on a short journey.
• Leave enough time. Setting off for school can be frustrating and a rushed experience. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to get ready in the morning, as a half-eaten breakfast and badly combed hair can put both you and your child in the wrong frame of mind.
• It’s not a race! In many areas with local schools the motto is ‘20’s plenty.’ Remember this is limit, not a target. Always help out the school crossing patrol, and you’ll probably get a friendly wave and smile for your assistance.
• Start them while they’re young. Teach your children about road safety so they know how to behave around moving traffic. Setting a good example from the driving seat will stay with them until they learn to drive. Parking in a safe place and walking the last few metres will not just help with congestion; it will also allow you to teach them the right way to cross a road.
“Traffic always picks up again after the school holidays so your journey will take longer and potentially be more stressful,” Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving & Riding Standards, said. “Make sure the car is fuelled up and fit and ready for stop-start traffic so you have one less thing to worry about. Be vigilant around schools as there’s likely to be children getting out of cars or walking to school.”
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