The initiative, between Welcome Break and green energy provider Ecotricity, makes it technically possible to drive from London to Edinburgh or Exeter completely free and with greatly reduced emissions.

A first charging point, or ‘top-up zone’ as they’ll be called, was revealed today at Welcome Break’s South Mimms services at the Junction of the M1 and M25 today (July 27).

The first phase of the network will see points installed at 12 motorway services by September, with further points installed in all 27 Welcome Break services within the next 18 months.

Each post will be located outside the main entrance, with two sockets that can be accessed by registering for a free swipecard.

Power for the points will also come from Ecotricity’s wind and solar parks across the UK

Ecotricity founder, Dale Vince OBE, said: “Until now, charging posts have all been in city centres like London, but this is where you need them the least.

“Statistics show it’s not in towns and cities where electric cars need to recharge, but on longer journeys between cities – and that means motorways.

“We’re creating the infrastructure to get Britain’s electric car revolution moving, this marks the beginning of the end for the old combustion engine.

“With world oil prices going through the roof, you’ll now be able to get around Britain using only the power of the wind.”

Welcome Break chief executive, Rod McKie, said: “There is no doubt the electric car will arrive on Britain’s motorways and Welcome Break wants to be at the forefront of giving the modern motorist what they want, when they want it.

“As hybrid and electric cars become part of everyday life, Welcome Break will have the facility to fast-charge these cars, giving electric car drivers the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the UK.”

Electric car owners who want to register for a free swipe card can visit Ecotricity’s website for more information.

Luke Walsh

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