Top 20 fastest cities to charge your electric car

Rapid electric vehicle charging

With more than 480,000 pure electric cars and 390,000 plug-in hybrids on UK roads, public attention is increasingly turning to our electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Admiral Car Insurance has teamed up with Zap-Map, the UK’s leading EV charge point mapping service, to shine a light on the towns and cities that are currently best served for the two quickest types of charging points, known as rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.

Unlike fossil fuel cars, EVs can recharge almost anywhere – at home, at work and on the public network. With extra flexibility for EVs comes a little added complexity, such as different speeds of chargers and, therefore, different uses for them.

EV drivers charging at home, for instance, typically use what are known as ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ devices to charge up overnight.

In contrast, rapid chargers take between 20 minutes to an hour to add around 100 miles of charge – and are found at many different locations from motorway service areas and fuel forecourts to restaurants, hotels and retail car parks.

Even speedier are ultra-rapid devices, which can around 100 miles of charge in as little as 15 minutes. Useful for drivers undertaking longer journeys, they tend to be found in groups of between six and ten. The analysis saw Birmingham come out on top in this respect, with 39 high-powered ultra-rapid chargers.

As the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars draws ever nearer, and the number of EV owners continues to rise, Admiral’s own data shows the growing popularity of electric vehicles, with drivers insuring 79% more pure electric vehicles (and 20% more hybrid vehicles) in 2022 compared with 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers has also shown promising growth in recent years. While there were just 973 rapid and ultra-rapid devices at the end of 2016, by the end of April 2022 the UK had over 5,750 rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers – more than a 490% increase.1

Particularly important for EV drivers undertaking longer journeys is the increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices over the past year. Between April 2021 and April 2022, the UK has seen a 74% increase in the number of ultra-rapid devices, the quickest available.

Top 20 fastest UK cities to charge your electric car

Town Rapid Ultra-Rapid Grand Total
Nottingham 92 30 122
Milton Keynes 100 6 106
Leeds 60 17 77
Birmingham 34 39 73
Coventry 71   71
Bristol 45 23 68
Manchester 36 26 62
Sheffield 48 9 57
Glasgow 46 6 52
Wolverhampton 26 23 49
Norwich 20 28 48
Dundee 36 8 44
Bradford 39   39
Exeter 10 27 37
Slough 7 29 36
Derby 20 14 34
Cardiff 24 10 34
Banbury 5 29 34
Preston 31 2 33
Newcastle upon Tyne 31 2 33

Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

The high performance version of Kia’s award-winning EV6 crossover will be taking to the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hillclimb several times throughout the weekend (June 23-26).

Kia claims the all-electric EV6 GT “combines exhilarating performance, first-class long-distance travel capabilities, ultra-fast charging tech, and an impressive real-world driving range for effortless cross-country touring”.

Kia’s most powerful production car to date, its dual-motor powertrain delivers 577 bhp (585 PS) and 740 Nm torque. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds and boasts a top speed of 162mph (260km/h).

The car features a GT button on the steering wheel, activating its ‘GT’ mode. This automatically optimises the vehicle’s e-motors, braking, steering, suspension, e-LSD and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems for their most dynamic settings for a more engaging drive.

Drivers can also tailor the car’s ride, handling and performance characteristics to suit their individual preferences by selecting the ‘My Drive’ mode.

The car will be driven throughout the weekend by rally pro Jade Paveley – 2021 British Rally Cross Country Championship (BXCC) Class T2 Champion and 2018 Junior Welsh Tarmac Rally Champion.

She is also the end-of-stage reporter for the World Rally Championship and European World Rally Championship, and Marketing Director for Llandudno Kia, a Kia dealership in North Wales.

Between drives, the EV6 GT will be on display throughout the event in the ‘First Glance Paddock’. UK customer deliveries of the EV6 GT start at the end of 2022, with the car available to order from £59,995.

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Toyota bZ4X review

Toyota bZ4X review

It’s fair to say that Toyota is a little late to the EV party. Despite the fact that it was a hybrid technology pioneer 25 years ago with the Prius, it’s taken until 2022 for the Japanese giant to launch its first pure electric car in Europe.

So, I guess the big question is – has it been worth the wait? Before I attempt to answer that, let’s deal with the baby elephant in the room – how did it end up with a name like the bZ4X?

Well, to put it simply, it’s the first model in Toyota’s “Beyond Zero” family of zero emission battery electric vehicles, while the ‘4’ references the size of the car (mid-sized) and ‘X’ denotes it’s a 4×4 crossover/SUV.

Toyota bZ4X review

Slightly longer, lower and wider than a RAV4, the bZ4X has been co-developed with Subaru (its version is called the Solterra) and it’s available with front or four-wheel drive.

Your choice of drive will have an impact on your car’s performance and range. The FWD version (201bhp) offers up to 317 miles of range and a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds, while the 4×4 option (215bhp) has a lower range of about 286 miles, but is quicker off the mark (6.9 seconds).

Priced from £41,000, Toyota’s is going big on peace of mind, also offering the bZ4X via an intriguing new, all-inclusive monthly leasing scheme that covers the vehicle, maintenance, wall box charger and access to connected services.

Toyota bZ4X review

Meanwhile, the battery is supported by an optional extended care programme for owners, guaranteeing battery capacity of 70% after 10 years or 1,000,000km (620,000 miles) driven.

The bZ4X also benefits from Toyota’s standard Relax warranty which covers your vehicle for 10 years (up to 100,000 miles), provided your car is serviced by a Toyota dealer.

Talking of the battery, the bZ4X’s 71.4kWh pack can be charged from 0-80% in around 30 minutes using a rapid 150kWh charger.

Toyota bZ4X review

Four trims are offered, including entry-level ‘Pure’, which comes with goodies such as 18-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera and smart entry.

‘Motion’ models look sportier thanks to big 20-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows and roof spoiler, while kit includes heated seats, wireless phone charging and a panoramic glass roof.

‘Vision’ is next up with standard equipment that includes heated and cooled front seats, a digital key that means you can open and start the car with your phone and synthetic leather upholstery.

Toyota bZ4X review

We tested the top-of-the range Premier Edition model which comes with four-wheel drive as standard, plus a nine-speaker JBL sound system, and is priced from £51,550.

At first glance, the bZ4X looks like a sleeker, more futuristic RAV4. Get up closer and the design is more complex with an accent on aerodynamics in order to reduce drag and maximise range.

Inside, there’s a real feeling of space, light and visibility. Up front there’s a new driver-focused set-up with a low steering wheel and a 7.0-inch digital display which sits directly in the driver’s forward eyeline. Not quite as radical as Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, but still a change which works surprisingly well once you get used to it.

Toyota bZ4X review

Praise too for the 12.3-inch touchscreen in the centre console. Slick with crisp graphics, thankfully Toyota hasn’t completely forsaken traditional buttons, so there’s less need to take your eyes off the road while you swipe through menus to access key functions.

It’s just a shame that there were some hard plastics used high up in the cabin, while the driver’s instrument binnacle structure is a fairly flimsy affair.

On the plus side, there’s stacks of space in the back for passengers, while the boot has a useful 452-litre luggage capacity, though sadly there’s no space for a frunk in the “engine bay” to store your cables.

The first thing you notice on the road is the smooth ride and the refinement inside the cabin.

Toyota bZ4X review

Just like all EVs, there’s plenty of instant torque available. However, the acceleration is perfectly pitched if you floor it, rather than gut-wrenching like some rivals.

There’s a little body roll on more challenging corners, but then the bZ4X is more comfortable cruiser than performance SUV. No complaints about grip and traction either.

It’s easy to drive and Toyota has tried to make it as simple as possible with its automatic brake regeneration (a system that recharges the battery by harvesting power otherwise wasted during deceleration).

Toyota bZ4X review

Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I prefer the ability to adjust regen settings manually (as is more often the case). Weirdly, the Subaru Solterra includes just such a feature.

Our test car came equipped with the X-Mode four-wheel drive system which has settings for snow/mud; deep snow and mud and Grip Control for tougher off-road driving (below 6mph), so it should be able to cope on those few days of the year when extreme weather makes the headlines.

We went through various exercises to test its off-road capability and it passed with flying colours. Few bZ4X owners will ever stretch it to its limits, but there’s a hill-descent control, low-speed crawl control and it can wade through a depth of 500mm.

Toyota bZ4X review

Any more gripes? Well yes, just a couple. There’s no glovebox and far more annoyingly, no rear wiper (it’s been sacrificed on the altar of aerodynamic efficiency).

Oh, and in answer to the question I posed way back at the beginning of this article. Yes, the bZ4X has been worth the wait.

Rivals include everything from the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Skoda Enyaq iV and Audi Q4 e-tron to the Volkswagen ID.4,Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Verdict: The all-new Toyota bZ4X is a welcome addition to the long-range electric SUV scene – smooth, spacious and surprisingly capable, it’s the peace of mind choice.

Toyota UK

Leading the charge: Energy Superhub Oxford

“Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging superhub” has been announced and it’s heading to Oxford.

UK-based Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and Oxford City Council have joined up with Fastned, the European electric vehicle (EV) fast charging company, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, have teamed up to deliver Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO).

It will be the first of up to 40 superhubs, helping to ensure the UK has enough charging infrastructure for the estimated 36 million EVs on the road by 2040.

The superhub will initially feature 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers (the most powerful in a single site) with around 10MW of power on site.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

This innovative network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned will initially install 10 chargers at the superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day.

The station will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s trademark solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously.

The announcement comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free.

The £41m world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier.

“Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution,” said Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power.

“Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging.

“Energy Superhub Oxford supports EDF’s plan to become Europe’s leading e-mobility energy company by 2023, and is a blueprint we want to replicate right across the country, working hand in hand with local communities to create cleaner, more sustainable cities where people want to live and work.”