Motorway service area provider Extra has signed an agreement to install Ionity electric vehicle charging points at eight of its areas across the UK.

This breaks Ecotricity’s stranglehold on the motorway service area charging point market – at present, with the exception of a few Tesla superchargers, the Gloucestershire company holds contracts with all the motorway service area operators, preventing rivals from installing points.

As highlighted by Company Car Today in December 2018, Ecotricity has been under fire from electric vehicle owners for a number of years with some reports suggesting its public charging network is not as reliable as its rivals.

Extra’s deal with Ionity – a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche – will initially see six 350Kw chargers installed at the eight locations.

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The first of the Ionity/Extra stations is targeted for opening at Extra’s new M1 J45 Leeds Skelton Lake MSA later this year, along with seven existing motorway service areas:

  • M25 Cobham
  • A14 (M11) J28 Cambridge
  •  M40 J2 Beaconsfield
  •  M5 J28 Cullompton
  • M65 J4 Blackburn with Darwen
  • A1M J10 Baldock
  • A1M J17 Peterborough

According to Ionity, its points can recharge an EV in less than 20 minutes, “making long distance travel significantly easier and quicker.”

Ionity added the Extra deal would help it to achieve its goal of installing 40 stations, each of which will comprise several charging points.

“Extra is a long-term investor in the motorway service area sector and we are pleased to have established a good working relationship with Ionity to deliver additional stations on the UK motorway network,” said Andrew Long, CEO of Extra Motorway Service Area Group. “Ionity can provide the latest charging technology as required for a new generation of electric vehicles and which facilities will become an increasingly important part of all of Extra’s ‘umbrella branded’ MSAs, inclusive of those within our pipeline of proposed new MSA developments.”