EV charging in France for UK drivers explained


If you're an English driver planning to take your electric car to France, it's important to familiarise yourself with the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure on French autoroutes.

The good news is that autoroute operators have been steadily increasing the number of charging points over the past few years as the ban on petrol and diesel motors gets closer.

Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden looks at what British EV drivers heading to France will need to know…

All you need to know about charging your EV in FranceHeading over the English Channel to France with your EV? Here is your guide to charging on your trip. (Photo: Pexels.com)

How many service stations have EV chargers in France?

An official map from the trade body ASFA, released in June 2022, showed that 97% of autoroute service areas now have chargers for EV drivers to use.

How close will the nearest EV charger be on French autoroutes?

With  800 individual posts spread across 219 autoroute service stations, most of which offer quick charges of up to 150kW, UK drivers can find a charger approximately every 80 kilometres along the autoroutes.

The fast charging stations help cut waiting times and allow drivers to recharge their vehicles to around 80% in as little as 15 minutes.

Is there high demand for public EV chargers?

In France, the majority of electric car buyers invest in domestic wall box chargers for their homes.

These private charging stations supply more than 90% of the electricity used to charge EV batteries.

As a result, public charging points are often less busy, except during peak holiday seasons when millions of French drivers all hit the road at the same time.

How much do public EV chargers cost to use?

Research from French motoring magazines has found that electricity from public charging points can be more expensive per kilometre than the price of diesel for the same. Make sure you check the price before you start charging.

Will there be more charge points coming soon?

The French government remains committed to expanding the public charging infrastructure, especially in light of the upcoming ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

To support this initiative, the government has allocated €10 million in aid to assist small rural service stations in purchasing electric chargers, covering between 60% and 70% of installation costs.

While EV sales in Europe continue to rise, governments and industry bodies are clear about the need for the accelerated installation of electric car chargers.

Are there be enough EV chargers in France and Europe?

According to European car makers' trade body The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA, only 2,000 chargers are being installed across Europe each week, whereas an estimated 14,000 chargers per week are required to ensure a smooth transition to the 2035 ban on internal combustion engine sales.

Find a map of EV chargers in France

Drivers can use this map to see where EV chargers are in France, to help them plan their route across the country this summer.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (thesun.co.uk), New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? (Whatcar.com) Stuff Magazine (Stuff.tv), Fastcar Magazine (Fastcar.co.uk), Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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