I’ve bought an EV but if you can’t afford a Tesla it can be a nightmare – here is why

AN electric vehicle owner was stranded on the highway to hell after two service stations left him unable to charge his car.

Russel Rich and wife Michelle pulled into the M5’s Gordano services near Bristol last week to find only one plug working.

Russel Rich and wife Michelle were left standing in the rain waiting to charge their electric vehicle


Russel Rich and wife Michelle were left standing in the rain waiting to charge their electric vehicleCredit: Jon Rowley
Two service stations left Russel unable to charge his car


Two service stations left Russel unable to charge his carCredit: Jon Rowley

To add insult to injury, after diverting to the M4’s eastbound Leigh Delamere Services in Wiltshire, he queued for nearly three hours for a single socket.

Standing in the pouring rain, he told The Sun: “I had it all planned and I thought we’d be straight into charging mode.

“But instead we could be waiting for hours.

“It’s just not good enough, frankly.”

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Russel said when he arrived at Gordano, there were only two universal chargers for standard EVs, but one was broken.

Yet there were around 20 Tesla charging units, all of them empty.

“None of them can be used by cars other than Teslas”, Russel fumed.

Fellow driver James, 52, said he felt “mugged off” by the lack of charging availability.

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The pair are among thousands getting zapped by Britain’s charging point fiasco.

Stations up an down the country have been left unusable thanks to a lack of power capacity.

Ken McMeikan, CEO of Moto Hospitality, warned in August how Britain’s measly electricity infrastructure has sparked a “major major problem” for electric cars.

And he fears that unless power firms provide enough energy to recharge points, Britain will never hit its 2030 all-electric vehicle target.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Mr McMeikan said: “We’ve put sufficient chargers on four of our motorway service areas and the power required once the chargers were put in place is not available.

“So EV drivers are turning up to motorway services at four of our locations and there are chargers sitting there but no power.

“Getting enough power for those chargers to actually operate well enough for EV drivers is a major major problem.”

The Government hope that by the end of 2023, every motorway service area in Britain will have at least six charge points.

It is part of their pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 to encourage Brits to switch to electric vehicles.

But while targets for more charging points are set, there are no targets for the amount of power that will be reaching them.

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As of July 1, 2023, there were 44,020 public electric vehicle charging devices installed in the UK.

That comes to around 65.7 devices per 100,000 people.

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