Electric car charging at Little Chef

  • Roadside cafes to get plug-in power points
  • Total of 162 locations to be set up by end of 2012
  • More points should make longer journeys easier

It’s not just a coffee and Olympic breakfast you’ll soon be getting from Little Chef, with the roadside café set to install electric car charging points.

The first phase of the instalment will see 63 points in Little Chef car parks rising to 126 by February 2012. The final aim is to have every cafe – that’s 162 in total – up and running with a charging point by the end of 2012.

Once every restaurant has the facility, the company claims that 90% of the UK will be no further than 30 miles from a Little Chef with the technology. This could make things much easier for anyone needing to complete a longer journey in their electric car and eliminating the so-called ‘range anxiety’.

There will be a choice of two charge points at the stations. A fast charge of 7kW will top up the car in around 20 to 30 minutes and take three to four hours for a full charge while a 3kW plug will also be available that will give a car around 20 miles range on a 30 minute charge but will take seven to eight hours to fully charge. That’s a lot of Jubilee pancakes.

Charging a car at Little Chef will be free to use (as in money) up until December 2012. However, after this users will be charged to use the stations. The company says that no costs have been confirmed yet.

With electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf becoming a more common site and a number of other manufacturers like Renault and Toyota set to sell electric cars, the firm claims that it is the first national restaurant to recognise the need for roadside charging points.

The new points are being placed at the sites in partnership with charging technology provider Chargemaster and renewable energy company Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

Earlier this year Welcome Break revealed that they would be installing the systems at its 28 service stations around the UK, starting with South Mimms on the A1.