With fuel prices surging, a growing body of motorists look set to consider whether an electric vehicle could work for their household.
The number of electrified vehicles on Britain’s roads surged by 71 per cent to 748,349 over the past year, according to a recent Motorparc study published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
This week, Toyota has unveiled its first battery electric vehicle, the bZ4X, which is available in the UK this month, with a driving range of up to 317 miles with the front-wheel drive option, and up to 286 miles with all-wheel drive.
All new: Toyota has unveiled its first battery electric vehicle, the bZ4X
And, with the number of EVs on the road rising, the amount of charging stations available is also on the up, though there is, of course, a fair way to go before Britain is fully EV-friendly and the infrastructure is scaled-up adequately and evenly across the nation.
Toyota has outlined 14 well-known attractions across Britain that already have EV charging stations in place, and are ready and waiting for visitors wanting a fun day out, particularly with the school summer holidays on the horizon. Some offer free EV charging, while others incorporate it into the main car park fee or charge a separate fee.
1. Diggerland, Langley Park, Durham
You might say you’re visiting Diggerland to treat the kids, but it is hard to resist getting behind the wheel of a full-size construction digger, tractor or dumper, or taking a whirl on the huge digger bucket of the ‘Spindizzy’ ride .
All set: At Diggerland in Durham, the EV charging station on site is free for visitors with BEV or plug in hybrid cars
The EV charging station on site is free for visitors with BEV or plug in hybrid cars.
There are also Diggerlands in Kent, Devon and West Yorkshire, which all offer EV charging too.
2. Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Surrey
Home to the world’s first ten-loop rollercoaster and the new ‘Stealth’ rollercoaster, which is the UK’s fastest ride, reaching 0 to 80mph in under two seconds, Thorpe Park is a must for adrenaline thrills.
Ready for action: Access to four EV chargers is included in the car park price at Thorpe Park
Access to four EV chargers is included in the car park price.
3. Sundown Adventureland, Rampton, Nottinghamshire
A theme park designed especially for under-10s, Sundown Adventureland has over 20 rides and attractions, including a sing-along show, candy castle and lots of play areas.
To make a weekend of it, book a glamping cabin at the new Wild Acre Village.
There are six EV chargers in the car park, which can be accessed via the CityEV Opencard app.
4. RHS Garden Bridgewater, Worsley, Manchester
Set on the former site of historic Worsley New Hall, which was visited by Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, the 154-acre RHS Bridgewater is one of Europe’s most ambitious garden restoration projects.
It is divided into multiple zones, such as the tranquil Chinese Garden, wild Ellesmere Lake, and the colorful Paradise Garden.
There are three EV charging stations, with space for six cars, provided by EV Charge Online.
5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
From its white-knuckle rollercoasters and spooky ‘Pasaje del Terror’ interactive horror show, to the seaside slot machines, crazy golf and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has attractions to amuse all the family.
Your transport awaits: There are two 7kW charging bays in the Balmoral Road car park near Blackpool Pleasure Beach
There are also live entertainment nights too.
There are two 7kW charging bays in the Balmoral Road car park, provided by pod Point.
6. Brockhole, Lake Windermere, Lake District
Overlooking Lake Windermere, Brockhole outdoor activity center offers an adventure playground, go-carts, archery and mini-golf. You can hire kayaks, paddleboards or a motorboat to explore the water, or can follow the whimsical Faerie Trail through the forest.
Profits from the EV car chargers are used to conserve the Lake District National Park.
7. RSPB Minsmere, Saxmundham, Suffolk
On a peaceful stretch of the Suffolk coastline, RSPB Minsmere is a haven for migrating birds, and has seven ‘hides’ from which to see them.
It’s ideal for a soul-soothing day out in nature, spotting birds such as marsh harriers, nightingales, avocets and nightingales.
The reserve’s EV charger can be pre-booked by phone.
8. The Wave, Easter Compton, Bristol
The Wave has to be seen to be believed: it’s a huge 180-meter inland pool, that generates perfect surf waves, with crystal-clear water and plenty of space for everyone.
Up to 1,000 waves can be generated per hour, ranging from 50cm in height for beginners, to two meters for experts. Tuition is available for all ages and abilities, with wetsuits and board hire included in the entry price.
The two 7kW EV charging points in the car park are available for free, on a first come, first served basis.
9. V&A, Dundee
The V&A Dundee is Scotland’s design museum and explores the country’s design heritage. It’s curved concrete walls create the impression of a Scottish cliff face and are a striking addition to Dundee’s waterfront., having been designed by celebrated Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma.
Inside, the Scottish Galleries are filled with home-grown fashion, furniture, and jewelery, and there’s also an impressive schedule of exhibitions.
The museum shop sells a selection of creative gifts, books, prints, stationery and jewelery, with proceeds helping to support the museum.
There is an Urban Electric charging station at Earl Gray Place West, which is just a two-minute walk from the museum.
10. Loch Ness Center & Exhibition, Drumnadrochit
Catch a glimpse of Scotland’s most mysterious monster at the Loch Ness Center & Exhibition, which features photographs of Nessie ‘sightings’, underwater footage, and insights into the area’s remarkable geology. You can also take a loch cruise on a monster-spotting boat.
There are rapid EV chargers in the Drumnadrochit tourist information car park, which is part of the ChargePlace Scotland EV charging network.
11. Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan
From Australian eucalyptus and New Zealand ferns, to Chilean palm trees and South African lilies, Logan Botanic Garden is filled with plants from all over the world, which thrive thanks to the warm microclimate of south-western Scotland. There is a walled garden, woodlands and a huge Victorian-style conservatory to explore.
The car park offers four free EV chargers.
12. The Center for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth
With its thriving organic gardens, cutting-edge sustainable buildings and woodlands full of birdsong, CAT is a vision of an eco-friendly future. Visitors can join a hands-on workshop, learn how to grow your own veggies, or simply enjoy a walk in the beautiful grounds.
There is a 32 amp Type 2 charging station in the car park, which is free for visitors.
13. Penbryn Beach, Cardigan Bay
Beach ready: There is a 7kW EV charger in the car park near Penbryn Beach in Wales
One of the loveliest golden, sandy beaches on Wales’s west coast, Penbryn is ideal for sunny picnics, sandcastles and family-friendly paddling. It’s also a great location for stargazing at night.
You reach the beach by meandering through woods, with amazing views of Cardigan Bay. It is run by the National Trust, and offers wheelchair access, a café, and a 7kW EV charger in the car park.
14. Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader
With its wildlife-rich woodlands, surrounding Cambrian mountains, dams and reservoirs, the Elan Valley is a haven for walking, cycling and fishing.
Bikes are available to hire from the visitor centre, where there are two ZeroNet EV chargers, with cost of charging included in the £3 parking fee.