EV charging capability expands on UK motorways

EV charging capability expands on UK motorways

By 2030 EV charging will require 12 times as much energy as we currently have warned Moto chief executive Ken McMeikan, as his company reached a 200 charge-point milestone. In an article in Forecourt Trader, he said engagement from Government and the National Grid to help industry address the challenges faced was vital. He commented, “By 2040, we will need ten times as many chargers to meet the projected increased demand.”

He said that while Moto is optimistic that the challenge posed can be overcome, open discussions are needed. Improving the UK’s energy mix and grid capacity will take leadership from businesses, commercial landlords, the Government, electricity suppliers and charging providers collaborating on solutions.

There are now close to 34,000 public charging devices in the UK, but despite industry efforts to invest in EV infrastructure, range anxiety and charging anxiety continue to be stumbling blocks in the transition to electric vehicles.

There are now close to 34,000 public charging devices in the UK, but despite industry efforts to invest in EV infrastructure, range anxiety and charging anxiety continue to be stumbling blocks in the transition to electric vehicles.

Moto now has 211 ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers available on its network following last week’s opening of 12 new chargers at Moto Reading Westbound. Before the launch, Gridserve and Tesla had already added ultra-rapid chargers to 20 hubs on Moto sites. They created the largest Superhub on the UK’s motorway at Moto Exeter Services, which has 33 chargers.

Initially, 12 Gridserve chargers were launched as part of the latest network expansion at Moto Reading Westbound on the M4, with the capacity to expand when future demand requires. Supplied by renewable, net-zero carbon energy, the 350kW-capable ultra-rapid chargers claim to deliver up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes.

All 12 chargers have been online since late January. This newest investment expands the number of chargers available on the M4 with a total of 53 ultra-rapid chargers across Moto Heston (West), Reading, Leigh Delamere, Severn View and Swansea, with more scheduled to come. Moto Reading, Woolley Edge and Hilton Park now have ultra-rapid charging facilities on either side of the carriageway, becoming Moto’s first twin Motorway Service Areas with an EV offering.

McMeikan said: “When we opened our first ultra-rapid EV Charging Hub at Moto Rugby, we knew it represented a major turning point in the feasibility of EV vehicle ownership – signalling the arrival of more accessible, more reliable and quicker on-the-go charging options. Now, just 18 months later, having over 200 such charge points across our network is a vast achievement. Together with our partners, we have overcome significant planning, legal and infrastructure barriers to deliver a better charging experience for EV owners, as well as make the prospect of EV ownership more attractive. Work doesn’t stop here, however. UK demand for EVs continues to grow and already accounts for almost a fifth of all new car sales. Our network-wide roll-out continues at pace to meet that demand and work towards our ambition to install more than 1,600 ultra-rapid chargers by 2030.”

Recent projections from Moto reveal what the future of EV driving will look like on UK roads over the next two decades, with one in 25 cars on the road in 2023 being EVs, one in 10 by 2025, one in 3 by 2030 and four in five by 2040.

The Value of Tracking Your Assets – How much is my car worth?

The Value of Tracking Your Assets – How much is my car worth?

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According to research carried out by Motorway, the used-car marketplace, the average British person has assets worth £294,000, but almost half don’t track the value of anything they own. Second only to property, cars are the most valuable asset 9.1 million of us own, whilst stocks and tech are also contributors to our net worth.

For almost three-quarters of those surveyed in Greater London (72%), their vehicle is their most valuable asset, compared to 50% of those surveyed in the North West, as property ownership is often higher outside of the Capital.

Despite the sizable value of Brits’ assets, almost half (48%) don’t track the value of anything they own. The younger generation (ages 18 to 23) are more savvy, with 59% who own a car checking its value at least once a month. Whilst just over a third of the older generation (ages 55 to 73) check the value of their car once every one to three years. Aside from cars, the younger generation is most likely to track the value of their mobile phone (23%), whilst the older generation keeps a close eye on the value of their property (23%).

With tools and apps available such as Zoopla to track the value of a property and Monzo to track finances, it’s now easier than ever to manage the value of the items you own. Despite this, two-fifths of respondents who own a car (41%) say they don’t know how much their car is worth, and more than half (52%) of Brits think that a car always goes down in value – which is not necessarily the case.

How much is my car worth?

Used Car Price Trends

Previously, car depreciation almost always followed a downward trend, but the industry has experienced unprecedented changes over the past two years. Global supply chain shortages, a slowdown in new car production and a rapidly changing economy have resulted in used cars holding their value at a better rate – and sometimes even going up in value. For example, between the end of 2020 and the end of 2021, the average price of a used Ford Fiesta sold on Motorway increased by over 50%. While prices of the Ford Fiesta decreased over the course of 2022 by 8%, they are still significantly up on pre-pandemic prices (end of 2019). Due to these changes, it’s now more important than ever for car owners to track the value of their vehicles to sell at the best time.

Motorway has teamed up with Rachel Riley MBE, maths genius and TV presenter, to reveal how regularly tracking the value of our assets could put more money in our pockets. Rachel commented: “January is the perfect time to take control of your finances and the first thing you can do is take stock of your assets. Think about what you own that could be of material value: a car, a mobile phone, a gold necklace? All of these items could be considered assets and as such they depreciate and appreciate depending on market conditions and trends. An asset such as a car will see prices rise and fall, depending on demand in the  used-car market, meaning it’s important to track the value of your car to understand the best time to sell.”

To track the value of your car, visit motorway.co.uk/track

Research conducted by Censuswide, with a national representative sample of 2,000 adults (aged 18+) between 07.11.2022 and 12.12.2022.

Recommendations from the Independent Review of Net Zero

Recommendations from the Independent Review of Net Zero

Over three years ago, the UK signed a commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law. Since that commitment was signed, the world has experienced many challenges. For this reason, an Independent Review of Net Zero was commissioned in September 2022 to ask how the UK could better meet its net zero commitments, taking account of these global changes. It was also commissioned to ask how the UK might deliver its net zero targets more affordably and efficiently.

The commission was chaired by Chris Skidmore MP, the former Energy Minister responsible for signing the UK’s net zero commitment into law.

The Review covered all aspects of the net zero commitment. With regard to the transport-related elements, the Review observed that Electric Vehicles (EVs) should be made more accessible to those who need them and improvements must be made in the public charging infrastructure, including the sorting of cost discrepancies –where those without home charging have to pay a lot more to charge their vehicles.

The Review covered all aspects of the net zero commitment. With regard to the transport-related elements, the Review observed that Electric Vehicles (EVs) should be made more accessible to those who need them and improvements must be made in the public charging infrastructure, including the sorting of cost discrepancies –where those without home charging have to pay a lot more to charge their vehicles.

Several critical areas identified transport as an area where improvements were necessary. The recommendations for the transport sector fell into three main areas:

Encouraging the uptake of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)

  • Swift delivery of a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate to apply from 2024 while maintaining regulations and funding to support EV/ZEV uptake and continue driving emission reductions from internal combustion engines.
  • Enabling the provision of long-term finance required for initiatives to decarbonise the existing transport fleet.
  • The benefits to net zero are not all guaranteed – and depend on the government’s decisions today. This Review directly considered the risks UK households might face from the transition to net zero. These include cost; 17% of adults have no savings, and one in ten has £100 or less in the UK. For many, there are real challenges to affording an electric vehicle regardless of their support for net zero or the fact that it may save them money in the long term. The government has recognised this risk, but more action is needed to help people afford the changes they will need to make.
  • Organisations like the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), representing the major car brands, highlighted that the government’s ambitious and binding targets for rolling out ZEV cars and vans must be underpinned by equally ambitious and binding targets for EV charging infrastructure. A stable and supportive fiscal environment will also be of critical importance.”

More and better-targeted government action

  • Government to publish the Low Carbon Fuels Strategy in 2023.
  • Government to continue to work with industry to set out a straightforward programme by 2024 to accelerate the decarbonisation of the wider freight sector through modal shift and deployment of new technologies, building on the Future of Freight Plan.
  • Government to adopt a public engagement strategy to communicate to people the need to reduce car journeys and the benefits of doing this.
  • The government should amend the regulatory framework to incentivise transport providers to increase demand and improve services and work with them on this vision by 2024.

Making sure that public transport plays a more significant role

  • Government to act to reduce the costs of public transport.
  • Measures to enable intermodality so people can more easily take different modes of transport to complete a journey.
  • Measures to encourage the choice of active travel or public transport, or using shared services.
  • The development of more sustainable and cleaner travel. Electric vehicles, alongside the increasing use of public transport, cycling, and walking, also have benefits beyond air quality. They can reduce noise and congestion and provide more reliable and affordable services. Cycling and walking can deliver significant improvements in public health and well-being.

The Review comments on the number of respondents frustrated by a lack of long-term thinking, siloed behaviour from government departments, and uncertainty over the length of funding commitments. There were suggestions that this is holding back the deployment of green technologies, hampering investment across all sectors and inhibiting the ability to create British jobs.

The Net Zero Review believed that “we are heading in the right direction but also that we urgently need to step up the pace as well as bring everyone along with us.”

Expert Insights: These Are the Most Popular Cars to Lease

Expert Insights: These Are the Most Popular Cars to Lease

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Getting a new car is exciting but with so many models on the market deciding on what you want can be tricky. Plus, with factors such as price, availability and personal preference all coming into play, it can be common to be overwhelmed.

To find out what car leasers in the UK are looking for in their next car, new research has been undertaken by car leasing comparison site Moneyshake. They’ve analysed their enquiry data to reveal insights into the cars and manufacturers people are choosing to drive across the UK.

Expert Insights: These Are the Most Popular Cars to Lease

Nissan is the Most Popular Car Manufacturer to Lease

Looking into the last years’ worth of enquiries, Moneyshake found that Nissan was the most popular car manufacturer to lease, making up around one in eight of all enquiries during this time. This was closely followed by Volkswagen with 11.2% of all enquiries and Kia with 10.2%.

The 10 most popular car manufacturers to lease are:

  1. Nissan – 11.9%
  2. Volkswagen – 11.2%
  3. Kia – 10.2%
  4. Audi – 9.0%
  5. Vauxhall – 6.3%
  6. Hyundai – 6.1%
  7. Mercedes Benz – 4.9%
  8. BMW – 4.3%
  9. Toyota – 3.7%
  10. MG Motor UK – 3.5%

The Nissan Qashqai is the Most Popular Car to Lease

Delving deeper into the specific cars people are looking to lease, the Nissan Qashqai is the most enquired-about car, making up one in twelve of all enquires. This is followed by the Vauxhall Corsa which made up 5.5% of enquiries and the Kia Sportage with 4.4%.

The 10 most popular cars to lease are:

  1. Nissan Qashqai – 8.4%
  2. Vauxhall Corsa – 5.5%
  3. Kia Sportage – 4.4%
  4. Hyundai Tucson – 2.6%
  5. Volkswagen T-Cross – 2.3%
  6. Audi A1 – 2.3%
  7. Kia Niro – 2.2%
  8. Fiat 500 – 2.1%
  9. Volkswagen Polo – 2.1%
  10. Tesla Model Y – 2%

Eben Lovatt, CEO of the car leasing comparison site Moneyshake comments that “it’s no surprise to see that the Nissan Qashqai is the most enquired-about car as it represents great value for money in the popular SUV section of the market. There’s a range of engines available, meaning there’s always a Qashqai to meet anyone’s needs. On top of that, they’re well equipped and the more recent design improvements add to their desirability.”

MG Motor UK, Fiat and Kia Have Seen a Surge in Popularity

Looking into the year-on-year changes in enquiries, it was revealed that the manufacturer MG Motor UK has seen a huge surge in popularity, with a 516% increase in the number of enquiries about their cars. Fiat has also seen a big uplift year-on-year with a 211% increase in the number of enquiries and Kia saw a 129% increase.

On the surge in popularity of these manufacturers, Eben explains that “MG Motor UK, Fiat, and Kia are all manufacturers whose cars offer great value for money. The Fiat 500 has long been Fiat’s flagship model and it continues to be popular, available at prices in the £150 range.

“MG has brought some really strong electric vehicles to the market and is pushing range boundaries with the MG4. Kia has definitely upped their game in recent years too, with modernised designs and improved in-car technology to go with their market-leading warranties.”

Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar Have Seen a Decline in Popularity

On the other end of the scale, Volvo saw a large 78% decrease in the number of enquiries about their cars. Land Rover also saw a dip in popularity with a 75% decrease in the number of enquiries and Jaguar saw a 73% decrease.

SUVs are the Most Popular Body Type to Lease

The type of car is also another factor to think about when choosing your next car. Looking into the last years’ worth of enquiries, SUVs are the most popular body type of car to lease, making up 45% of all enquires.

Looking into the year-on-year changes in enquiries, 4x4s have seen a big surge in popularity in the last year, almost doubling with a 96% increase in the number of enquiries. On the hand, convertibles have seen a big fall with a 66% decrease in enquiries.

Christmas road trip ahead? Get prepared with Start Rescue

Christmas road trip ahead? Get prepared with Start Rescue

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… For many, that means packing up the car and getting on the road to visit friends and family.

This year the current climate has led to a lot of us looking for ways to save on costs where we can. However, if breakdown cover is one of the costs you are considering cutting, is it really worth running the risk, especially so near to those all-important festive road trips?

Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough not to have suffered a breakdown and are looking to take the gamble, but you just know it’s going to be Murphy’s Law that the time you don’t have breakdown cover in place, the worst will happen.

Breakdown cover doesn’t have to cost you a fortune though and a little investment can offer a huge peace of mind.

Affordable breakdown cover from a Which? recommended provider?

Indeed, depending on the age of your vehicle and the level of cover you require, breakdown policies from Which? Recommended Start Rescue, are available from as little as £19.75 per year.

If you break down without cover and you will be facing a one-off call out charge that is likely to be in excess of £100 minimum. This is without factoring in whether you will require a long distance recovery, overnight accommodation or assistance with your onward journey. Before you know it, the costs can soon mount up.

There is of course also the consideration of how easy it is going to be for you to independently source a competent recovery operative during this busy festive period.

The importance of breakdown cover for winter travel

Start Rescue sees a spike in breakdowns each winter when inclement weather such as ice, frost and snow causes everything from battery faults to tyre problems.

Having breakdown cover ensures you are always covered for the unexpected when on the road.

Pre-Christmas travel checklist

Breakdown cover offers the reassurance that someone will be on hand to help should you need it. However, it’s best to take steps to try and avoid being faced with any issues on your drive this Christmas, before you set off.

Start Rescue has put together a list of essential checks to carry out before you leave, giving you the best chance of having a trouble-free festive road trip. After all, we all want your Christmas travel to go safely and smoothly, so you don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy Christmas to the fullest!

Pack light

Think about which items you might survive without.

Remember, lugging around unnecessary additional vehicle weight means your engine is working harder.

If you pack your vehicle full you should check your car weight limits, which will be printed in the manual.

An overloaded car will use more fuel than usual, costing you more at the pumps and the risk of a penalty. Driving an overloaded car is a punishable offence by law and the fine can be as much as £300, with three penalty points.

Your braking capability will also be affected – far from ideal if you need to stop suddenly.

Secure all loose articles

If you’re carrying large or heavy items on your journey, don’t forget to strap them securely.

In the event of an accident, a loose item can turn into a dangerous projectile.

Consider keeping heavy items under the seat – or, even better, packed safely in the boot or glovebox.

Save – but don’t scrimp – on fuel

Roads get much busier during the Christmas period so there’s an increased chance of congestion. This could cost you valuable pennies in wasted fuel.

The days leading up to Christmas tend to be the busiest on the road, making this far from the best time to drive during Christmas. Throngs of commuters on the road are joined by holiday traffic, not to mention the last-minute Christmas shoppers.

If possible, it’s best to avoid travelling on these days and opt for a quieter time instead.

Always ensure your tank is at least a quarter full to prevent you from getting stranded by the roadside and take the opportunity to top up your fuel whenever you can.

Vehicle checks

Before setting off, carrying out a few basic vehicle checks can help to lessen the chance of a breakdown.

For more information, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for details on tyre pressure, engine oil and coolant maintenance.

Antifreeze

When temperatures fall, water in your vehicle’s system can freeze very quickly. To prevent this, regularly check your coolant levels.

Concentrated antifreeze will need to be added to water at a 1:1 ratio.

Check your tyres

Figures from National Highways report that 1 in 5 motorway breakdowns are caused by tyre problems, highlighting the importance of checking your tyre tread and pressure.

When driving in slippery or wet conditions, it’s doubly important your tyres have at least 3mm of tread (the legal UK minimum).

Also check your tyres are pressured to the manufacturer’s guidelines.  

Underinflated or low-tread tyres make your vehicle harder to control and uses more fuel more quickly.  They will also increase your stopping distance when braking.

If your tyres are a little old, now may be a sensible time to get replacements.

Clean your lights

Your car can get a lot dirtier in winter – what with all the rain, sleet and snow – and all that mucky slush being thrown up against your vehicle. As such, it’s important your lights are clean so they make your car as visible as possible.

Visibility is worsened by heavy rain and snow – not to mention the gloom of winter days – making it even more important you can be seen by other road users.

Screenwash

Use a 50/50 solution of water/screen wash to help ensure your windscreen doesn’t freeze over when temperatures plummet.

Investing in a high quality screenwash is advisable.

You shouldalso check the condition of your windscreen wipers to ensure they can keep the windscreen clear, even in the heaviest of rain and dirty spray from the road.

Consider booking a vehicle check

Other common winter breakdown causes relate to engine management problems, mechanical failures and electrical faults.

You may wish to consider booking your car in with a professional mechanic for a check before you begin your festive trip, giving you the best chance of having a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas!

Emergency supplies for your Christmas drive

In case you do experience a roadside breakdown when driving this Christmas, it’s important you have some basic emergency supplies to ease the situation.

Your emergency supplies for your journey should include:

  • Your breakdown recovery service contact details
  • Smartphone
  • Smartphone charger
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Warm coats
  • Torch
  • Jump leads for your battery
  • De-icer and ice scraper
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Screenwash
  • First aid kit
  • Old carpet/cardboard to help free you from ice and snow

Start Rescue, are on hand to assist you in the event of a breakdown 24/7, every day of the year (Yes, even Christmas Day!) so why not get a quote for your breakdown cover today?

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone is up and running

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone is up and running

On 28th November, Bristol City Council introduced charges for drivers of older, more polluting vehicles to enter parts of Bristol as the city’s delayed Clean Air Zone came into force. Bristol City Council estimates that the charges will affect about three in 10 vehicles on the city’s roads. Cars, taxis and vans that don’t meet the required emissions standard will be charged £9 per day, while trucks, buses and coaches will pay £100. The plans were initally drawn up in March 2021.

A September trial of the Clean Air Zone cameras tested the systems by generating and sending out letters to every motorist whose vehicle would be liable for the charge once the scheme went live. In those three weeks, almost 100,000 motorists received letters. The council predicts the figure could be even higher, with an estimated 75,000 vehicles affected daily.

The government’s compliance checking tool checks if your vehicle is compliant or not, available here. Once confirmed, the compliance checker presents a list of Clean Air Zones – including Bristol – and the charges. Clean Air Zones are also in operation in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Portsmouth and London.

Bristol's Clean Air Zone is up and running

Exemptions apply for petrol vehicles that meet Euro 4 standard and diesel vehicles that meet the Euro 6 standard. Electric and hydrogen vehicles are also exempt, as are motorbikes and modified or retrofitted vehicles registered with the Energy Saving Trust’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “This is a major milestone on our journey to clean air. Poor air quality has a major impact on the health of everyone in the city, and the Clean Air Zone will help us tackle this issue and meet government targets for cleaner air in 2023. Most drivers on Bristol roads won’t need to pay the daily charge but if you do then you may be eligible for financial support to upgrade your vehicle.”

Two-thirds of vehicles can already travel in the zone free of charge. Still, an exemption is available until July 2023 for those who successfully apply for financial support and have yet to receive their new vehicle.

The number of people who have applied for financial help to switch vehicles ahead of the introduction of the Clean Air Zone is only a few thousand – even though an estimated 100,000 drivers will have to pay the charges.

Various schemes are available from the council as part of a £42 million package, with loans to help people buy new vehicles. But critics of the schemes say they don’t go far enough or provide enough support to get a new vehicle, and the loan scheme on offer is too restrictive and onerous to be a viable option.

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