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Free to charge – around the UK without paying

ELECTRIC vehicle drivers can circumnavigate mainland Britain without spending a penny on recharging, according to new research by Peugeot UK thanks to a network of 4,400 free-to-use public chargers.

 More than a tenth of the UK’s 35,000 public chargers are free to use, and Peugeot has plotted a 2,688-mile journey around the coastline of mainland Britain to highlight the extent of the cost-saving infrastructure. Starting at Land’s End, the route runs along England’s southern and eastern coasts, up through Scotland via John O’Groats before returning to Land’s End through Wales using only free public chargers.

The furthest distance between two free charge points on the route between Chelmsford and Sandringham, is 168 miles, within the 225-mile (WLTP) range of the PEUGEOT e-208. To make life on the road easier, the PEUGEOT e-208 supports up to 100kW rapid charging, with an 0-80% charge taking just 30 minutes.

Many of the approximately 4,400 free charge points in Britain are located in retail parks, hotels and public car parks and are funded by retailers, landowners and some Local Authorities, allowing drivers to charge overnight or run errands while their vehicles charge.

The ChargePlace Scotland network features more than 2,000 chargers, with the majority available for free to users who have the ChargePlace Scotland app or who pay a one-off £10 fee for a charging card.

Driving the same route in a petrol or diesel version of the same car can cost drivers up to £421.

An 80% charge using a 50kW rapid charger costs an estimated £26, while using home charging, and taking advantage of lower energy tariffs can bring the same charge down to just £6.80.

According to Zap-Map, 84% of free public chargers are “fast” meaning they will charge a car at between 7.5kW and 22kW, allowing owners to fully charge their car in seven hours and 33 minutes from a 7kWh charger, or as little as five hours when fitted with optional 11kW On-board charger (from an 11kWh chargepoint).

Julie David, Managing Director, PEUGEOT UK, said: “Road trips are a great way to experience what the UK has to offer and our research shows the significant cost savings available for electric vehicle drivers thanks to its network of free-to-use public chargers. While few motorists are likely to complete the full 2,688-mile loop, our research highlights the potentially under-used free charging network in the UK.”

Peugeot said it will offer an electrified version of every model in its range by 2023. Alongside the award-winning e-208, PEUGEOT’s compact SUV, the e-2008 has a zero-emissions range of 214 miles (WLTP), also powered by a 136hp electric motor producing 260Nm with a 50kWh battery.

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