Electric vehicle drivers can now drive from the UK through France and into Belgium or as far as Italy as part of a European Union project to extend the charging network.

Six new rapid charge points have recently been installed in the UK on Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network as part of the UNIT-E project which is joining the UK with France via Folkestone and Calais.

The project, co-ordinated by EDF in France and project managed by Zero Carbon Futures in the UK, aims to make cross-border electric vehicle driving a reality by linking already existing networks in France and the UK. The project builds on the relationship between the two organisations established through the European Union’s TEN-T project which supported the large-scale roll-out of rapid charge networks during 2015.

In total, 38 new multi-standard, interoperable charge points will be rolled out across Belgium, France, Italy and the UK by the end of 2017 strengthening the network for electric vehicle drivers by making cross-border travel an option.

The six UK charge points have been installed at Clackett Lane, Watford Gap, Toddington and Folkestone services covering the M1, M25 and M20. The new charge points complement those installed as part of two previous European Union funded projects – the Rapid Charge Network in the UK and CORRI-DOOR in France.

A Nissan spokesperson, said: “The UNIT-E project set out to identify and fill gaps in the existing European charging network to support drivers to make seamless electric journeys. This project makes it feasible for an electric car driver to travel from Scotland to Genoa in Italy or Brussels in Belgium using public charging to support their journeys.”

The project is co-financed by the European Union through the CEF programme which has been established to support the construction and modernisation of transport infrastructure across the EU. The project is also supported by Renault, Nissan and BMW.

UK drivers wishing to cross the Channel into mainland Europe should register with the Sodetrel network for access to over 36,000 terminals in a dozen countries including 200 fast charge stations on the major French highways.

Note to editors:

  • The UK charge points are further additions to Ecotricity’s Electric Highway. Drivers can find out more and download the app: Electric Highway.
  • For more information about Sodetrel and its Corri-Door fast charging network : sodetrel.fr

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