Travelling to Dorset by Electric Vehicle
Whether you have hired an electric car or are bringing your own, there are a growing number of EV charging points in Dorset so that you can travel all over the county fossil-fuel free.
Hiring an electric vehicle
There are a number of rental companies where you can hire an electric car for your holiday to Dorset.
Volt-Age is based in Portsmouth, Hampshire but offer delivery across the UK. Rental is available from 3 days to 3 months.
EVision Electric Vehicles have collection points in various locations, with the nearest being in Cullompton, Devon. They also provide a delivery and collection service for an additional fee.
Getting to Dorset by electric vehicle
All large motorway services offer electric car charging points, most with rapid charge (50kw+) options. The nearest motorway services to Dorset are Rownhams on the M27, Tiverton Services and Bridgwater Services on the M5 and Leigh Delemere Services on the M4.
Once you enter Dorset, there are no motorway services. However, some local service stations and petrol stations will have EV chargers, plus most of the counties towns offer charging points too - the majority of which are found in car parks or near shopping areas.
Many hotels and other holiday accommodation are also now offering this service to their guests, so be sure to keep that in mind when looking for somewhere to stay.
Places to stay with EV charging points
If you are bringing your electric vehicle with you to Dorset (or hiring one for your holiday), you will probably want to find somewhere to stay that has an EV charger or the facility to charge-up overnight.
There is a small, but growing number of places to stay which have electric vehicle chargers for guests to use.
Charging your electric car
Electric vehicle charging points can be found in many of Dorset's towns and villages. Here are just a few of the locations: Blandford Forum, Bournemouth, Bridport, Christchurch, Dorchester, Gillingham, Isle of Portland, Lyme Regis, Poole, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Swanage, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster. Some are located in car parks (many owned by the local councils), at supermarkets, in town centres, restaurants, visitor attractions and at holiday accommodation.
The added bonus is that some car parks offer free parking to electric vehicle users, as long as you are charging your car for the whole time of your visit - a great opportunity to pick up some shopping or get something to eat while you are waiting.
Dorset and BCP councils sponsor chargepoints at many locations around the county including several council run car parks. These chargepoints are operated by Mer and can be accessed using the Mer app or any of these partners: New Motion, Allstar One Electric, Electric Juice, Paua and Zap-Pay.
You can find charging points on the Zap Map website. For each location you can check how much it will cost to charge, what connections are available and how you can pay.
Getting around Dorset
Near Swanage and located on the Jurassic Coast, Durlston Castle and Country Park is a wildlife watchers dream and fantastic for coastal walks. Entry is free, you just need to pay for parking.
At English Oak Vineyard near Poole you can take a guided tour and sample their English Sparkling Wines. They produce their own electricity through solar panels and run the vineyard in the most environmentally way possible.
The Club House restaurant overlooks the majestic Jurassic Coast at West Bexington near Abbotsbury. Not only can you charge your electric car while enjoying the seaviews, you can also indulge in a menu packed with local produce.
Dining at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and Spa, near Dorchester is a truly memorable experience. The head chef serves contemporary British dishes with European influences. Many of the ingredients are sourced from local producers and from their own gardens.
The Heights Hotel restaurant on the Isle of Portland overlooks the famous Chesil Beach and Jurassic Coast. Stop by for breakfast, coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Seasons Restaurant is part of the Eastbury Hotel and is located in the delightful market town of Sherborne. The restaurant overlooks the pretty walled garden and offers both à la carte and set menus.