EV drivers face massive queues for chargers at motorway services

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An electric car owner was shocked when he found 23 Teslas queuing to use the charging points at a motorway service station. Experts are now calling for more investment into EV infrastructure after driver Dylan Sumbler took to social media to share a video of the Teslas queuing at Tebay Services in Cumbria over the festive holidays.

EV experts from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk said the video highlights the increasing popularity of electric vehicles but also shows more investment needs to be made in infrastructure to ensure it keeps up with demand.

They warned that the problem could become even worse before it gets better due to the increasing popularity of EVs and Teslas in particular.

Mr Sumbler, owns an EV for local journeys but also runs a Land Rover Discovery for longer trips.

He was returning from a family holiday in Scotland when he made his stop to refuel his Land Rover at the services.

But he was stunned by the long line of Teslas and witnessed drivers becoming increasingly frustrated as they waited in the stationary queue.

Mr Sumbler said: “I’ve been an EV driver for the last four years and I love it. It’s perfect for local journeys, the school run and shopping.

“I’ve always been envious of Tesla drivers, the crazy mileage range they can achieve and the option of Supercharging at Tesla charging stations.

“But returning from a family holiday over the festive holidays up in rural Scotland I was so thankful to have our trusty Land Rover Discovery 4, as a quick pit stop at Tebay Services I was welcomed by this.

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“OMG, what a nightmare, some had been waiting for over an hour and not moved at all and the queue was getting bigger and bigger, eight cars charging and 23 waiting…. a LOT of very unhappy Tesla drivers.

“I replace my EV in May and it makes me seriously consider if a Tesla Model Y is the right option for me. Maybe Elon has offered free charging as a Xmas present?”

A spokesman for LeaseElectricCar.co.uk said Mr Sumbler’s video was evidence of the massive increase in EV popularity during 2022.

They added: “Electric vehicles boomed in popularity during 2022 and that trend looks set to continue this year.

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“But the video illustrates that more investment is required in the charging infrastructure, particularly on our motorway network.

“A lot of people are on the roads over the festive period and it seems this motorist arrived at the charging station at a period of peak demand.

“More charging stations and more capacity is planned and the problem should eventually ease but in the short term it could become even more frustrating for EV drivers.

“We recommend carefully planning routes when taking an EV on a longer journey and drivers should make sure they are aware of multiple charging options so if they do find a situation such as this they can head for an alternative option.”

The news comes after research revealed multiple cases of irate motorists arguing over who is next in line – with some even yanking plugs out of rivals’ cars while they are still topping up.

Fights have broken out across the UK at charging points outside supermarkets, restaurants and gyms.

The trigger is what the industry is calling “range anxiety” – the fear that an electric vehicle will not have enough power to reach the next charging point, leaving drivers stranded.

Experts say until more charging points are rolled out, rules of conduct need to be written into the Highway Code to stop motorists’ bickering from turning to violence.

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