If the UK is serious about tackling air pollution, which is responsible for more than 40,000 premature deaths a year, then the number of motorists buying electric cars must be increased significantly.

That’s the stark warning from Adrian Keen, Chief Executive of InstaVolt, the UK’s largest fully open public rapid charging network, speaking on Clean Air Day (Thursday June 15th).

With around 40m cars on Britain’s roads and less than one million EVs, InstaVolt’s Adrian Keen says that the biggest cause of air pollution in the UK’s cities was transportation. He explained: “The fact is an EV doesn’t actually produce tailpipe emissions. This means that day-to-day contamination from driving is virtually non-existent. It stands to reason, the more EVs there are on the road, the cleaner the air we breathe.”

“There is no better demonstration of this than in 2020 during lockdown when air pollution levels were significantly down coinciding with greatly decreased levels of road traffic.”

He also called on the Government to introduce more Clean Air Zones. “I appreciate they’re often controversial, but the fact is there are only 15 at the moment and there need to be many more.”

He said that air pollution in the UK has reached critical levels: “Latest statistics from IQAir* show that air pollution is the country’s biggest environmental health threat, with outdoor pollutants estimated to contribute towards 40,000 excess premature deaths per year, costing the economy upwards of £20 billion a year.”

“Monitored UK air quality levels are regularly found to exceed legal limits set by the government, which has led to numerous successful lawsuits being brought against the government for exceeding these targets, particularly for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).1”

Keen said this situation had to change if we were serious about reducing the pollutants in the air we breathe, and took the opportunity to debunk three of the biggest myths surrounding driving electric.

He said: “With new EV models coming onto the market and more used EVs than ever, consumers have never had a bigger or more affordable choice of vehicle. Secondly, the charging infrastructure has never been better. With proper planning every EV driver can find a public, rapid charger. If you’re embarking on a long journey plan your route in advance by using search engines on your pc, tablet or smart phone, or by utilising one of the many Apps for charging points. That way you’ll have a better idea of where and when to charge your car ahead of time. And while you recharge your EV, recharge your own batteries. Enjoy a bite to eat or grab a coffee, amenities you’ll find at many InstaVolt charging locations including Costa Coffee and McDonald’s Restaurants.”

“Thirdly, charging an EV does not take as long as you think. The optimum charge for your battery is between 20% and 80% and a 160kW charger, such as those we’ll be deploying from next month, can add around 100 miles in 10 minutes.”

Voted as one of Britain’s top rapid charging networks**, InstaVolt’s chargers are powered using 100% renewable energy, easy to use and take contactless payment: there’s no need to sign up and no subscription required.

Drivers can also visit the website, or sign up to the optional InstaVolt App, where they can find their nearest charging station, search for real-time availability across its sites, and pay for their charge – all in one place.

Adrian Keen added: “We’re adding more rapid chargers on a weekly basis. With class leading reliability of more than 99.9% and installations of two or more chargers at many sites, EV drivers can be confident that when they arrive at an InstaVolt location, they’ll find an easy to use, working charger, without having to queue.”

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