It’s official; electric vehicles are now not only a growing topic of conversation, but the way of the future. Towards the end of 2020, the UK government announced that it would ban the sale of any new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 in order to reach its net-zero goal. With that announcement has come an EV revolution.
For those living in highly populated areas, the chances of being unable to access a charging station when you need one are unlikely. Not to mention, for commuters, the overall cost of running an EV is a much cheaper alternative to the fuel and maintenance prices of their non-electric equivalents… but how will an EV fare when taken on a long, rural road trip?
To answer this question we have analysed the most popular UK road trips, using Google Maps to identify tourist attractions along the way, whilst determining how many charges will be needed for each trip based on a BMW i3 standard charge, how many electric charging points are accessible along the route, and the location of each one.
Road Trips in England
The Coniston Loop
The Coniston Loop is a 51.8-mile journey that will take you winding through a scenic route through both villages and mountains throughout the Lake District. According to our research, there are 2 electric charging stations along the way. However, due to the length of the drive, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to stop, with this road trip only using 13% of a standard full charge. There are 6 tourist spots an average of 8.6 miles away along the route, most notably Coniston Water, which greets you near the finish line.North York Moors
This popular route takes you from Helmsley to Whitby; a roller coaster experience over the North York Moors National Park, bound to be filled with fish and chip shop stops and views of majestic ruins. The 44-mile journey gives access to 4 charging points along the way, though you’ll likely complete the route with roughly 52% of your charge still intact. Cheddar Gorge - Cheddar to Ashwick
An award-winning drive in Somerset, Cheddar Gorge is a particularly popular route for UK road-trippers. The 17.7-mile drive has been hailed as one of the most iconic in the country, and whilst there are no charging points located along the roads, you’ll likely only use around 27% of your charge in exchange for the incredible experience.Snake Pass
The most famous driving route in the Peak District is the aptly named Snake Pass, spanning 26 miles across a mountain approximately 1,679ft (512m) above sea level. There are 3 charging points accessible along this route for EV owners to stop at, providing opportunities to top up, alongside 9 tourist attractions nearby.Atlantic Highway
Among the longest routes in our study, the Atlantic Highway begins in Somerset and traverses Devon and Cornwall. The long journey will see those travelling in need of stopping off three times along the way to recharge, but with 20 charging stations accessible, you’re likely to be within distance of one when you need it. Once fully charged, drivers will make it to the end with just short of 42% battery left; enough to explore one of 26 tourist spots!The Lake District
One of the UK’s most-visited national parks, the Lake District road trip spans 117 miles along streets lined with quaint towns and picturesque green landscapes. There are a reported 4 charging stations throughout the drive, however, those embarking on the journey with a fully charged EV will find themselves able to continue on their adventure after 2 charges, completing the route with 31% of your charge left.The Great West Way
The Great West Way takes you on a 125-mile journey from London to Bristol through the peaceful countryside with 140 charging stations available to use over the course of the journey. At the end of the trip, drivers are likely to have approximately 22% of their charge left after 1 top up, which leaves plenty to explore the neighbouring city of Bath.Sussex, Hampshire & Wiltshire Circuit
Predominantly rural, this circuit spans 166 miles through the historic city of Salisbury and beyond. According to our study, there are 25 electric charging stations along the way. However, you’ll only need to stop once, and this road trip will leave you with 79% of a standard full charge after that. There are 51 tourist spots an average of 3.3 miles along the route, including Stonehenge, the best known prehistoric monument in Europe.
Road Trips in Wales
Snowdonia to Anglesey
A 20.7-mile drive to the west coast of Wales takes you from Snowdonia, the highest peak in the region, to Anglesey. There are 5 charging points available for the public to use along this route, though if you’re beginning your journey with a full charge, you’re likely to only see a decrease of 57% once the trip has been completed. Of course, the key attraction here is Mount Snowdon.The Black Mountain Pass
The Black Mountain Pass, located in South Wales, takes you through the winding roads of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The shortest of the road trips in our study, you’ll likely only use 17% of your full charge whilst navigating the difficult turns and admiring the views. That being said, if you do need to re-charge along the way, there is 1 charging point you’ll be able to visit with ease at the beginning of your journey to ensure you have enough charge to last the route. The Dragon's Spine
The Dragon's Spine is likely to have EV drivers stopping 3 times to charge their vehicles along the 180-mile drive in Powys, Tynywern and Betws-y-Coed. Luckily, there are another 29 public charging stations situated along the way.
Road Trips in Ireland and Northern Ireland
Causeway Coastal Route
The Causeway Coastal Route takes an average of 2 days to complete, though you’ll want 3-5 days to take a break and soak in your surroundings along the way. The 195-mile (313km) drive takes you from Belfast to Londonderry, made up of 9 scenic passages that allow you to break down the journey and enjoy the sights. There are 11 reported charging points located along the way, although, if you were to begin with a full battery and top up once where needed, you’d likely complete the route with 25% of your charge left.Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is not only the longest road trip in our study, but at 1,600 miles in length, it’s also one of the longest coastal routes in the world. To make the most of the trip, it’s recommended that travellers take 1-2 weeks to explore the surroundings. With 175 tourist attractions along the way, including Brow Head, you won’t be short of things to do! There are 34 charging points throughout the journey, and drivers will most likely need to take the opportunity to recharge 9 different times in Killarney, Tralee, Ennis, Oranmore, Mayo, Ballina, Sligo, Ballyshannon and Letterkenny.
Road Trips in Scotland
Road to the Isles
This 91-mile route takes you from Ben Nevis to the Isle of Skye, stretching across the Scottish Highlands. There are 24 tourist spots along the way to explore including Ben Nevis itself, and 5 charging points to make use of along the way. North Coast 500
As the name suggests, the North Coast 500 is approximately 516 miles and takes you around the north coast of Scotland. You’ll need at least 5 days to take the route in as this drive offers some stunning scenery, including stopping by John O'Groats. The route currently occupies a total of 25 electrical charging points, and drivers will find themselves needing to recharge their vehicles five times on average; once in Brora, Wick, Tongue, Scourie and Ullapool. With these five necessary charges, you will be left with 16% charge at the end.
Here are just 15 of the best UK road trips for you to enjoy and could be the answer to all your Summer holiday plans, while being more mindful of the environment. At Dick Lovett, we have a range of new and used hybrid and electric cars to help transport you across the beautiful winding roads of the UK.
We analysed the most popular UK road trips using Google Maps to identify the tourist attractions and spots along the route and within a short distance from the route road. We then used evnavigation.com to determine how many charges are needed for the road trip, where they are located, and how many electric charging points are accessible along the route.