Row of parked carsRow of parked cars


‘Huge opportunity’ for electric vehicles to be charged at home, says RAC Foundation

  • Vehicles in England are driven for just one hour per day – around four per cent of the time
  • RAC Foundation finds that vehicles spend 73 per cent of time parked at home
  • Bosses at the motoring charity describe findings as ‘huge opportunity’ for home charging

Time 4 weeks ago

Experts believe there is a ‘huge opportunity’ for electric vehicles to be charged at home after new data found that vehicles in England are driven just four per cent of the time.

Analysis by the RAC Foundation found that cars and vans spend a whopping 73 per cent of their time parked at home.

The data also found that they spend almost a quarter of their time – 23 per cent – parked in other spots, such as work.

Overall, English vehicles are only driven on average for one hour per day.

The figures are largely similar to statistics recorded in 1995 and the motoring research charity believes they demonstrate the potential in home charging.

It said 65 per cent of Britain’s 28 million households have enough off-street parking to accommodate at least one car or van.

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, said: ‘The average car is driven just one hour out of every 24, a proportion that is almost the same as it was back in 1995.


‘However, this lack of use does have one silver lining.

‘It means that there is ample opportunity for recharging the next generation of electric vehicles, particularly at home, or at work – so making best use of our cars’ ‘down-time’ rather than us having to make a specific trip just to get refuelled.

‘There is clearly a lot of attention focused on providing a rapid public charging network to help address drivers’ range anxiety, but this data shows there is plenty of scope for slower, potentially cheaper recharging facilities to be installed at people’s homes, where the average car spends so much of its time.’

The RAC report is based on data provided by consultancy firm Field Dynamics, mapping agency Ordnance Survey and the Government.

It also found that Britain’s most popular cars take up nearly one third more road space than they did in the 1960s.

In 1965, the top five best selling cars – including the Austin Morris 1100/1300, Ford Cortina and Mini – were on average 1.5 metres wide and 3.9 metres long.

By 2020, that figure high soared to 1.8 metres wide and 4.3 metres long due to models such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Mercedes A Class.

Gooding added: ‘Not only are cars getting bigger, there are also more of them.

‘This is putting huge pressure on roadside space and explains why many of us feel that the parking bays in car parks don’t seem quite big enough.

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‘Crucially domestic garages are also often unfit for their intended purpose.

‘The planning system needs to recognise that garage design needs to catch up with vehicle design, or throw in the towel and recognise that they are, in practice, garden sheds waiting to be converted to provide extra accommodation.

‘This means thinking again about where the family car is going to be parked.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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