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EV drivers returning to the road as lockdown eased in England

Electric vehicle drivers are gradually returning to the road following the lessening of lockdown restrictions in England, according to analysis of data from Zap-Map - the UK's leading charging point platform.

The information, which uses aggregated data from almost 70% of charging points across the UK, shows that charging sessions were down 79% at their lowest point on pre-lockdown levels, but now usage is running at between 40% and 60% of normal levels.

Impact of coronavirus on EV charging habits

The impact of the lockdown is clear to see on the above graph, with the 24th of March - the first day after the Prime Minister's announcement on the evening of the 23rd - showing a sharp drop from the norm; a trend that continues for the initial three weeks of lockdown.

This reduction is in line with the general reduction in road use during lockdown with only essential travel allowed during this time. Separately the Zap-Map survey conducted with the UK showed that 83% of EV drivers were using their EV for essential travel and 24% of respondents were key workers. During the lockdown, EVs have been used for many essential tasks such as delivering medical supplies, maintaining utilities, shopping for those in need, and of course getting to work.

Now, since restrictions were eased in England on 11th May, there are more cars on the road and EV usage is also increasing. Restrictions are still in place in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, so the increase in charging sessions should only really be representative of EV drivers based in England.

Zap-Map supports the official government guidelines in terms of EV usage and public charging. Safe usage of units - in particular regarding touch points - social distancing, and travel only in line with each respective nation's regulations should be adhered to.

During this period, Zap-Map is liaising with the charge point networks to identify and highlight those chargers temporarily unavailable because of lockdown restrictions and showing them on both the apps and desktop map.

More generally, there are signs that the EV market will weather the storm better than petrol and diesel cars. A record market share was reported last month, as pure-EV registrations was the only sector of the new car market that performed in any positive way for the first full set of coronavirus-impacted figures.

Factories both internationally and at home are starting to reopen, with models rolling off the production lines - though clearly in lower numbers as social distancing regulations have to be adhered to.

A number of new electric vehicles have been launched recently; the pure-electric van market receiving a significant boost in recent weeks with five key new models revealed or fully-introduced to market.

Installations of home and public charge points have restarted in England too, following suspension of all but essential work during lockdown.

If you are starting to go on longer journeys, use Zap-Map to locate suitable chargers, view charge point information, plan routes, and share updates with other EV drivers. If you are not venturing out, there is plenty of news and tools to enjoy on the main Zap-Map site.

For more information, visit Next Green Car's sister-site Zap-Map.

Find out more about electric cars

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:22nd May 2020

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