As the UK’s roads set get much busier in the run-up to Christmas Eve, Patrick Reich, Director of one of Britain’s largest EV charging apps, has revealed his top five tips for electric car drivers to avoid getting caught out in the rush.
Patrick Reich, Director of EV charging app Bonnet, said: “While a great song, driving home for Christmas may not be something most people look forward to in reality. For EV drivers, especially for those who have recently bought vehicles, the prospect of making a long journey could be anxiety-inducing. However, with these five tips, drivers can avoid getting stuck.
“Firstly, for a big trip, potentially going further than usual, I always recommend people to do some pre-research. While traditionally, that might have been looking at Google Maps or the AA Road Map, for EV charging, you can use one of the various websites and apps, such as Bonnet, where drivers can find charge points to plot their routes smartly.
“Secondly, always try to charge up fully before you set off. This will mean you’ll have maximum range for your journey, especially useful if, when you get to your destination, you may be unfamiliar with charge point availability. One way to do this and keep your costs down is to charge up overnight the day before, where prices are cheaper. For those without a driveway, many on-street chargers, such as those in a lamppost, now offer off-peak tariffs.
“Thirdly, your trip, if a long journey, may include the use of a rapid charger at a motorway service. During holiday time these chargers can often get very busy, leading to queues in some locations. That’s why, when doing your pre-planning, you can use Bonnet to see each charger’s opening hours, when it is busiest, and when it is quietest, so you can avoid hitting peak charging traffic.
“Fourth, always prepare for the worst to happen before you set off and have a Plan B option ready. If it is going to be busy on the roads, it is highly likely you will hit traffic jams or busy charging hubs, so if you want to avoid the queues, always have several other options up your sleeve. While you’re driving, most apps like Bonnet will be able to provide a live view of charge point availability.”
“Finally, if you’re driving far and need to stop, remember that you do not always need to charge up fully. Sometimes, you can just ‘splash and dash’ by topping up to 50% (or whatever is enough to get you home). As, in many cases, cars will charge up much slower once they get past 80% full.”