Ban plug-in hybrids from electric car charging bays at motorway services, experts say

Hybrids take too long to charge and block bays, according to report

Electric Car stock
Electric Car stock

Experts have called for a ban on plug-in hybrids using electric car charging bays at motorway services.

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) take too long to charge and take up bays which could otherwise be used by ‘pure’ electric vehicles instead, a report from the RAC Foundation says.

The majority of PHEVs on sale today have their charge rates limited to accept around 3.7kW, despite the fastest chargers being capable of delivering at least 50Kw. It means that though an all-electric car would take 15 minutes to receive 15 miles’ worth of charge, a hybrid vehicle would need an hour to be charged to the same amount of range. Currently, PHEVs cannot accept a higher rate of charge, limiting the amount of energy they can take on.

The RAC Foundation’s report, titled the Development of the UK Public Chargepoint Network, and written by electric vehicle infrastructure expert Harold Dermott argues that until PHEVs “have both a greater electric-only range and can accept electricity at faster rate”, they shouldn’t be allowed to use charging points at motorway service stations.

Steve Gooding, director at RAC Foundation, said: “the pace at which a vehicle can accept the charge is as important as the rate at which a chargepoint can deliver it. A chargepoint will only ever be as ‘rapid’ as the car that it plugs into.”

The report also highlighted the need for charging point locations to offer the same facilities found at traditional fuel stations such as toilets, lighting and protection from the elements.

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