Drivers warned of chaos today with electric vehicle owners urged to avoid peak charging times

Drivers warned of chaos today with electric vehicle owners urged to avoid peak charging times

Labour's Steve Reed comments on electric vehicle plans

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 28/12/2023

- 14:22

Data suggests that 1pm is the busiest time for electric car drivers to recharge

Motorists are being warned of electric vehicle charging issues today as millions of Britons around the country visit friends and family after Christmas.

Many Britons will be on the roads this week to enjoy the festivities ahead of the New Year’s celebrations and to see their loved ones.

However, experts are warning that drivers could see chaos on the roads with electric vehicle charging devices likely to be very busy.

More than 20 million leisure trips were already made in the week leading up to Christmas, with millions more being made between December 25 and December 31.

Electric car charging

It can be up to 25 per cent quieter at chargers at 5pm


Based on data from last year, the busiest travel day in the lead-up to the festive period was December 23, with many choosing to avoid Christmas Eve for travel.

The research found that December 27 and December 28 tend to be much busier on the roads than Boxing Day or December 29.

This comes as Britons travel between friends and family to make use of the time off, with many now looking to avoid the days when traffic will be at its busiest.

According to the data from Gridserve, 1pm is the busiest time for electric car drivers to recharge their vehicles.

It tends to be 19 per cent quieter at 10am and as much as 25 per cent less busy at 5pm.

If drivers can start their journey early or delay it until later in the day, they will see much clearer roads and more space at charging stations.

Charging before 8am or after 6pm will see EV demand drop dramatically at these times.

A spokesperson for Gridserve said: “We’ll be keeping an eye out across the entire network, too, with our analytics team monitoring the health of chargers remotely to catch any issues as early as possible.

“Our national EV-powered field service engineers will also be on call for on-site repairs, if and when needed, and our new customer support team will be available 24/7 to support customers over the phone.”

Motorists are also being reminded to charge their vehicles in a considerate manner and avoid the “charge rage” seen at chargers last year.

Following Christmas Day in 2022, several Tesla Supercharger stations saw unprecedented demand, causing some people to wait in their cars for hours.

Once a vehicle has reached 80 per cent battery capacity, the charging power will slow, meaning that waiting for the final 20 per cent could see another driver blocked from recharging.

People should also choose their chargers wisely as some electric vehicles may not necessarily need a high-power charger.

According to Zapmap, there were more than 53,000 electric vehicle chargers across the UK at the end of November.


Electric car charging

Some EV drivers were forced to wait for hours to charge last Christmas


This represents a 46 per cent increase in the total number of charging devices since November 22, with more than 10,000 rapid or ultra-rapid chargers installed up and down the country.

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