Drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) will soon have to pay to use a major network of charging points as the sole provider of motorway charging stations has announced it will introduce a £5 fee.
According to Ecotricity, it has powered more than 30 million miles for free since 2011, however, motorists will have to pay £5 for a 20-minute rapid charge.
For the majority of plug-in hybrids and EVs, 20 minutes would charge around half of their battery.
A spokesperson for the firm, which was founded by green energy tycoon Dale Vince, noted that this fee would still be "significantly less" than the cost of running a petrol or diesel car.
The spokesperson added that the introduction of the payment system will support the growth of the network. However, the network will remain free for Ecotricity domestic energy customers.
The latest figures reveal there are nearly 60,000 electric cars on roads in the UK, with registrations up 23% on the previous year, leading experts to predict the Government target to see all new cars sold by 2040 using electric power will be met.
The charge will not be incurred by Tesla owners using Tesla's own Supercharger network. Owners of the upcoming Model 3 will be required to pay to gain access to the network in the future, according to statements made by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
The switch to charging on all of Ecotricity's charging points will be implemented manually, with work beginning 11 July and due to be completed by 5 August.
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