• As ‘charge rage’ hits the headlines, Moto boss renews plea for more action around access to power
  • Moto to press ahead with sector leading roll out of ultra-rapid EV chargers on the motorways despite policy U-turn
  • Moto still believes one in three cars will be electric by 2030 and Moto’s CEO calls on the Government to declare the power requirements for the Strategic Road Network an urgent National priority
  • Moto now has nearly 400 ultra-rapid chargers across its sites and will continue to aim to have 2,200 ultra-rapid chargers by 2030 in line with demand

Heston services Gridserve Moto

Leading motorway services operator Moto has confirmed its use of marshals at seasonal peak times to control the flow of traffic for motorists using EV chargers to address ‘charge rage’, following press coverage over the weekend. 

Ken McMeikan, Moto chief executive, said: ”Despite an industry-leading roll-out of Ultra Rapid EV chargers on the UK motorways Moto knows that at seasonal peak times queues at some locations are unfortunately unavoidable as is the frustration that comes with it. In response Moto has worked with its partners at Tesla and Gridserve to provide marshals at its busiest sites.

”Marshals help to manage the flow of EV traffic and identify available chargers and bays, as well as providing reassurance and a visual presence to co-ordinate motorists during busy times. This is not about policing customers, it’s about giving them the best experience by trying to stop queues building up in the first place – something we have been really successful with even at peak holiday travel times on our busiest sites.

”We remain completely focused on reducing range anxiety by revolutionising the EV charging experience for EV drivers on the UK’s motorway network with capacity, reliability, simplicity and speed. What we need is the government to prioritise access to power on the motorways so UK motorists can get the chargers they need to prevent queues becoming a significant issue in the future.”

 McKeikan confirmed: ”We had one or two marshals at Rugby, Wetherby and Exeter over Easter and the summer holidays and will be looking to have them at Exeter and Wetherby over the October half term, and will also be reviewing how many sites will benefit from them over Christmas as well.”

The company now has 12 ultra-rapid chargers at Wetherby, 36 at Exeter and 40 at Rugby; and a total of 400 Ultra-Rapid Chargers deployed across England and Wales; and projects that it will need 240 mega watts of power by 2030 to provide sufficient power for drivers in EV cars - the equivalent power output from one quarter of an average sized nuclear power station.

He said the company remains 100% committed to supporting decarbonisation of the UK’s roads and its plans to significantly invest in and expand its ultra-rapid EV charging infrastructure will continue at pace, despite the government’s recent announcement to delay the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel-engined vehicles to 2035.

McKeikan said ”it’s very much business as usual”, with the policy U-turn being ”inconsequential to its goals on the rollout of ultra-rapid EV chargers”.

He said that while a committed, clear and consistent approach would be better for business, the announcement had not changed any plans for the company operationally or ideologically: ”Whatever policy is in place at number 10 we will be continuing our mission to reduce range anxiety by revolutionising the EV charging experience for EV drivers on the UK’s motorway network with capacity, reliability, simplicity and speed.

”We still believe that around one in three cars will be electric by 2030 as both the public, car manufacturers and infrastructure providers like us continue to invest in the UK’s future,” said McKeikan.

”However, it is absolutely vital that, whatever the EV deadline is, the government does not use a longer timeline as a reason to de-prioritise providing the UK with the power upgrades it desperately needs. While the mention of better prioritisation on grid connection is encouraging, we need clarity and action right now. Without the right access to power to get ultra rapid EV chargers up and running in the volumes needed across the UK, motorists will be hesitant about making the switch to EV”.

At the same time as pressing ahead, full throttle, to put the building blocks in place to decarbonise the UK’s roads, McKeikan said Moto has also been campaigning to reduce the barriers to entry on EV for UK drivers, especially around cost, with its ’motofesto’ for UK drivers. He believes swathes of people risk being left behind as the cost-of-living continues to bite and some of the key mechanisms Moto believes must be deployed are to:

  • Scrap the higher rate of VAT on public chargers
  • Reinstate the Plug-in Car Grant for more affordable models and extend it to used EVs
  • Introduce Vehicle Duty for electric cars in a slower and fairer way.

Moto estimates that one in 10 cars on the road in 2025 will be EVs; one in three by 2030; and four in five by 2040. The company’s ambition to bring ultra-rapid EV infrastructure to the UK’s motorway aims to match this trend and provide for the expanding cohort of EV drivers with 1,045 new ultra-rapid chargers being brought to the Moto network by the end of 2025, 2,217 by 2030 and 4,707 by 2040.