Says Stuart Thomas, director of fleet and SME services at the AA

Business drivers looking to take their electric vehicles (EV) abroad should plan their route thoroughly before travelling to ensure they don't run out of charge on the road in the heat, says the AA.

Drivers are increasingly using air conditioning to combat the high temperatures, but this can impact on the battery life of some EVs. It's crucial that drivers are aware of all charging points on their routes to avoid the stress of breaking down in hot weather while travelling across Europe.

Stuart Thomas said: "The good news is that Europe is increasingly better served by charging points, with over 200,000 now in place across the continent, so taking an EV abroad is increasingly easier. But careful planning is essential to avoid running out of charge on your journey in the heat. Drivers should familiarise themselves with the locations of charging stations at key points along their route using resources such as the Zap-Map app, which covers the UK and the international PlugShare app.

"For drivers travelling by ferry, a range of ports now offer the option to charge vehicles while you wait, giving businesses the chance to recoup some of the travel time that would have hitherto been lost to charging. EV charging is also available at the Eurostar tunnel and terminals.

"In France, Boulogne has good charging facilities on site, while in the UK, charging points are either located at the terminals or close by in Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Fishguard and Holyhead," Thomas added.

EV ownership is experiencing a rapid rise in the UK. Industry analysis predicts that EVs could account for 30% of all new car sales by 2030. Meanwhile, within the next four years, 63% of SMEs and businesses expect to be using alternative fuels to power their business vehicles. To help businesses prepare for this upcoming change, the AA, which works in partnership with Chargemaster, has trained all patrols to handle EV breakdowns and more than 100 charging points have been installed at AA hotels across the UK.

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