Inside Britain's biggest EV hub…where electric car drivers say charging is a nightmare and costs MORE than fuel | The Sun

THIS is Britain's largest EV hub where drivers claim charging is a nightmare and costs more than traditional fuel.

The vast "gigahub" at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has over 180 points available but has faced some strong criticism from customers.

The EV site was opened earlier this year by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt but doesn't appear to be attracting motorists in droves.

Lorenzo Santana, who was attending the recent Motorcycle Show at the venue, told MailOnline: "It's not so simple as tapping your bank card on the side of a machine.

"To use it, you have to either have an RFID card or an app – and there seems to be a glitch with the app.

"I found out about this place online and it seemed logical to leave the car on charge while we went to the show.



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"It is much more expensive than charging it at home."

Lorenzo claimed that, when he uses his home charger overnight, he pays just 6p per kWh, whereas the public charger at the NEC was charging him 69p.

He added: "It works out as expensive as fuel."

His concerns were echoed by Jamie Stevens, who was charging up nearby and said he wouldn't buy an electric car again if he had a choice.

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He explained: "They say that 25p per kilowatt hour is the cut off point – if you are paying more than that then fuel would be cheaper, and this is 75p.

"It does not make sense but the company I work for has an electric vehicle policy on company cars so I don't have a choice."

And back in September, The Sun spoke exclusively to Michael Lawlor, who claimed that the mega charging station is too difficult to find.

Michael told us: "It's a great set up here but my sat nav couldn't find it, only Google Maps, and we had to come off the motorway heading north to reach it.

"It's a great idea to have a large electric vehicle charging station like this but for people like us it is a bit off the beaten track, and we had trouble finding it.

"This is what we need up and down motorways across the country and not hidden away in one spot. We need more of these on main routes."

However, some customers at the station told a very different story.

Tourists Julian Wall and Tessa Lock called the NEC hub "amazing", adding that they "don't have anything like this" in their native Australia.

Tessa went on: "We have had electric vehicles at home for three years now and I would not drive anything else.

"We live on a solar farm at home where we grow blueberries and have cattle and it means we have had free motoring for the last three years.

"I like the zero emissions factor and the lack of gears."

A spokesperson for BP Pulse, which operates the charging points at the site, told MailOnline: "At BP pulse we are focused on providing fast, reliable and convenient charging to EV drivers on-the-go. 

"We believe we provide value for money given our fast and convenient locations and we aim to price competitively."

The Sun has contacted BP Pulse for comment.

NEC Group, which owns the Birmingham events venue, declined to comment.

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