Electric vehicles in Southampton

Contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment in Southampton by driving an electric vehicle.

We currently have 44 electric vehicle charging points installed across the city. We are working with partners to install additional points to ensure we meet growing demand for accessible, quick and efficient charging points.

See the map above for where you can charge your electric vehicle in Southampton. Charging at all of our existing sites is free for an introductory period.

To use these charging points you will need to apply for a charge card.

We are also installing a taxi-only rapid charging point.

Keep an eye on this page to find out where more charging points are being installed.

Electric vehicle incentives

We are offering a variety of incentives to EV drivers in Southampton. We want to encourage the switch to low emission vehicles.

City centre season ticket parking reductions

We are currently offering a 90% discount on any city centre season ticket for electric vehicle users.

Itchen Bridge - free toll

Owners of fully electric vehicles living in local council areas can currently cross the Itchen Bridge free of charge with a SmartCities card. Find out more about the electric vehicle concession and how to apply.

What is an Electric Vehicle?

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are much like regular cars, but instead of using petrol or diesel, they use electricity to power the car. Batteries are used to store this electricity and can be recharged when they run out, either from your home or a charging point in Southampton.

An electric car offers several advantages over a conventional car. EVs have no direct tail-pipe emissions or harmful air pollutants that contribute to poor air quality in Southampton and climate change. This means that with an electric car you don’t have to pay a charge when driving within a Clean Air Zones (CAZ) in the city.

The UK government provide grants of up to £4,500 (depending on the model) when you purchase an EV from a car manufacturer. The cost of driving an EV is about 2p per mile, which means you can save money when compared to petrol or diesel, which cost around 15p per mile.

Electrically powered engines contain less moving parts that wear down over time (like they do in combustion engines), meaning that EVs require less maintenance and servicing. This will cost you less time and money to maintain your car with regular servicing.

EVs produce no sound and so don’t contribute to noise pollution. Loud engines can be disturbing to people and animals and potentially have health impacts over a long period. 

Types of Electric Vehicles

Pure Electric Vehicles (EVs) only use electricity, stored in Lithium-ion batteries, when powering the motor. EVs are the least harmful to the environment and human health as they don’t involve the combustion of petrol or diesel.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVS) are highly popular in the UK. They use both an electric motor and conventional engine to power the car, which work together to optimize energy efficiency. For example, when the car is braking, energy of the moving car is converted to electricity that is stored in the batteries, which can then be used to power the electric motor. This is known as regenerative breaking.  

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCEVs) convert hydrogen into electricity, water and heat.

Charging an Electric Vehicle

There are several options when it comes to charging your electric car.

At home – You can charge your EV overnight using a standard 3-pin plug with an EVSE cable. Alternatively, you can install a home charging point for £400 – which can charge your car faster.
On average, an EV costs £3.64 to fully charge at home, at a rate of 13p per kilowatt hour (kWh). It is important to check if your EV needs a Type 1 or Type 2 plug, as you need to use a charging point that is compatible with your car.

At work – Some employers provide charging points at their facilities free for their staff to use. Certain employers may require you to pay for using their charging stations, it is important that you check this with your employer. More and more businesses are installing charging stations for their employees. Speak to your workplace to find out if this is a facility they can provide.’

Public charging stations – you can top up your battery while driving around town. Find out where you can find a charging point in Southampton.

Rapid charging stations – rapid charging stations are usually found in motorway service stations. Rapid chargers can fully charge your EV in around 30 minutes. Depending on what EV model you own, this service can be either free or up to £7.20 for a full charge.

Thinking of buying a new vehicle?

If you are, let us know! We want to find out the views of current electric vehicle owners and prospective buyers to get an early indication of where charge points may need to be installed on-street. Email us on cleanairnetwork@southampton.gov.uk

For independent information about electric vehicles you can visit Next Green Car.

Why should you change to a low emission vehicle?

Vehicles in the UK are predominantly petrol or diesel powered, producing 331,000 tonnes of NOx pollutants nationwide (DEFRA, 2016). For this reason we fully support a move from combustion engine vehicles to electric ones, and are doing a number of things to encourage this transformation.

On this page you will find a list of our charging points and a list of the ongoing concessions offered to electric vehicle drivers in Southampton. Keep coming back for further updates on what we have on offer as our charge point network grows.

Benefits of switching

By switching to a zero emission capable vehicle you can save money on fuel costs, reduce harmful vehicle emissions and help clean up Southampton's air.

There are also financial benefits:

Our own fleet of smaller vehicles

By 2020, a proportion of Southampton City Council’s fleet of vehicles will be electric. This will be done by exchanging vehicles that need replacing for electric ones. We have purchased the first six, which are now in use.