News article

The best (and busiest) times of day to charge on the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway

It might still be March but the schools are already preparing to close for Easter.

An estimated 14 million motorists will pack up their cars and hit the road to visit family, friends and other spring holiday hotspots.

And with most schools packing up on Thursday March 28, it will be busier than ever over the Easter weekend.

That means an increase in demand for our chargers across the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway – with motorway services predicted to be 20% busier than usual.

To help keep Britain charged up and moving, we’ve crunched the numbers from Easter 2023 to predict where the busiest charging hubs are likely to be across our network this year along with the times when they’ll be most in-demand and the times when they’ll be quietest.

The best times to charge

Last year, the Thursday before Easter was as busy as Good Friday on the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway, with many travelling after work and school so they were with family on the Friday. We expect this to be the same again.

Looking at the data from 2023, things will then likely quieten down a little – although still significantly busier than a regular weekend – on Easter Saturday and Sunday, before another peak on Easter Monday as the nation travels back home ready for work on Tuesday.

On average, across the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway, the busiest time to charge will be midday.

By comparison, 9am and 3pm will be around 20% quieter. So, consider switching your lunchtime sandwich stop for a morning coffee stop or mid-afternoon snack break.

And, if your journey allows, charging before 8am or after 6pm is well worth it, as demand drops dramatically at these times.

Of course, some of our sites are busier than others – either because they’re on a key route or perhaps they serve a great vanilla latte or have lovely loos. If your journey is passing by one of these busiest sites, then try and plot an alternative route in advance to one of our other  Super Hubs or Retail Hubs where more chargers are available.

We hope this crucial data will help you plan your route and journey and avoid unnecessary queues. And don’t forget to use our map to check live availability and to find your nearest charger.

Help is at hand

We know that actions speak louder than words, which is why we’re not just advising you when and where to charge, we’ll actually be on site to help manage charging.

We’ll have GRIDSERVE charging attendants at the three busiest sites over the Easter weekend: Moto Exeter (Good Friday), Moto Rugby (Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday) and Moto Cherwell Valley (Easter Monday). We’ll also be at Moto Wetherby all weekend and Pease Pottage on Easter Monday.

They’ll manage and monitor arrival of drivers to minimise wait times and prevent queue jumping.

24/7 support

We’ll be keeping an eye out across the entire network, too, with our analytics team monitoring the health of chargers remotely to catch any issues as early as possible

Our national EV-powered field service engineers will also be on call for on-site repairs, if and when needed, and our new customer support team will be available 24/7 to support customers over the phone.

Additionally, customers can contact us through live chat, email and socials with any additional queries.

How to charge considerately this Easter

Easter should be a time to take a break and relax with friends and family. So, while we’re doing our bit to ensure things run smoothly, we’d ask that all electric car drivers (and motorists in general) do the same.

That means charging considerately. Don’t block bays if you’re not charging and don’t overstay longer than you need. And please avoid jumping the queue – that should be left to the Easter bunny.

Remember that charging power will slow after 80% thanks to your car’s charging curve, which means by trying to add those few extra miles you could be stopping someone else from connecting. It’s quicker for you in the long run to head off and recharge again later when you can top up faster again.

We’d also recommend choosing your charger wisely – you might not necessarily need a High Power Charger if you’ve got a little longer to stop, while those with CCS connectors are asked to use CCS-only chargers first so CHAdeMO customers can still gain access.