Recently there has been a number of stories in the press around electric vehicle (EV) owner’s charging their car using only free EV charging points, this one at the BBC being a classic case which only reveals near the end of the article that many of the free charging points the owner used are no longer offering free charging.
As electricity prices have increased and a EV ownership booms as a result of these increases many providers of free charging points have decided to either introduce fees and or charge for parking in those spaces or there is an inadequate number of chargers available for the demand.
Many council’s introduced free charging points under schemes to reduce carbon emissions and increase electric vehicle ownership, many of these schemes have now stopped due to funding cuts but it’s worth speaking to your local council for their latest EV charging provision.
Filling stations have recently been introducing charging points in particular at motorway service stations but many are increasing their EV charging provision in light of petrol and diesel car production ending in 2030 due to new UK legislation being introduced.
Supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury, Lidl and Aldi are all investing in EV charging points with Tesco joining up with Volkswagen and Pod Point to create the largest retail EV charging network. Free charging is up to 7kw which will only give approx. 25 miles of range (depending on vehicle model) per hour of charge and offering 50kw/h at 28p an hour. Whilst it’s still early days the majority of supermarkets still don’t have chargers at all stores so you will need an app to find these chargers. These chargers are also going to be heavily used due to their location and being free to use so may not be available to use when you arrive.
Shopping centres are also rolling out free EV charging but you may still have to pay to park and there has been some confusion over whether you need to pay to park whilst charging with many stories regularly being shared on social media due to users receiving parking fines.
Tesla introduced free charging for life on earlier models and these might be transferable to second hand owners for certain models but for many this has now ended, however Tesla has recently reintroduced free charging for the Model S and the Model X.
Whilst free charging is an option it’s no longer a source of charging that can be easily available nor fast enough for stopping off for a quick, decent, charge as it was previously.
Installing your own fast EV charger will allow you the convenience to charge at home whenever you choose to.