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    Marshals to calm 'charge rage' rows at EV power points

    October 2, 2023 - By Claire Duffin


      MARSHALS have been brought in to police 'charge rage' between drivers of electric vehicles at motorway services.

      The boss of Britain's largest motorway services provider said long waits for plug-in points were making drivers 'very angry and stressed'.

      Moto chief executive Ken McMeikan warned that the UK's motorway service stations are facing growing 'public disorder' due to a lack of grid connections preventing him from installing enough car chargers to meet surging demand.

      He said angry drivers were confronting staff and each other, and warned of the growing risk of 'charge rage' on motorways.

      Drivers in the United States have already been involved in heated disputes as they compete over a shortage of electrical points - dubbed 'charge rage' by US media.

      A typical electric car will take at least half an hour to charge, compared to just minutes to fill up a petrol or diesel one. Electric vehicle (EV) drivers were forced to queue for up to six hours at some service stations across the UK last Christmas.

      Moto has already introduced marshals at Exeter, Rugby and Wetherby to prevent conflict at busy times.

      Mr McMeikan said he had told the Government of the problem and warned ministers that public disorder incidents would grow.

      He told the Sunday Telegraph: 'I've been saying to them that the grid does not have sufficient capacity right now to deliver the power we need at the time we need it.

      'If we don't get that amount of power guaranteed, then in coming years every Christmas, every Easter, every summer holiday and peak bank holiday will be the equivalent of when we have a fuel crisis on petrol and diesel.' Mr

      McMeikan said he had repeatedly told Jesse Norman, the minister for decarbonisation, that making EV motorists queue would put his staff and motorists at risk of 'charge rage'.

      He added: 'There is a view in Government that, rather than provide the power to guarantee sufficient numbers of chargers, we should be thinking about how we manage queues.'

      Last month, Toddington Harper, CEO at EV specialists GridServe, warned that rural areas could be 'left behind' in the transition to EVs, saying they may not see the same investment in charging bays as inner cities. Department for Transport data shows that remote areas have the fewest charging bays.

      There are about 850,000 EVs on UK roads and two in ten of the new cars registered in August were EVs.

      The Department for Transport said: 'Around 96 per cent of motorway service areas already have charging available. The Government has put more than £2 billion into the transition to electric vehicles, with the number of public charge points across the country increasing by 43 per cent since last year.'

      'Drivers angry and stressed'


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