Charging Points in the UK
If you own or subscribe to an electric vehicle, it is really important to get to know where your local chargers are or if you’re planning a long-trip where those chargers on en-route.
There are now an ever-expanding number of charging points across the UK, so no matter where you are, you shouldn’t have any issues topping up your battery.
Just like service stations in the UK, there are a number of different charging point networks available. Some of these require an RFID card, a Smartphone App or contactless payment.
Again just like a service station, prices differ from operator to operator and can change as energy prices alter.
Charging times for chargers can also differ, this also depends on the electric vehicle you’re driving. It is important that you look up your charging speeds and find a charger that can provide the fastest charge in a timeframe you feel comfortable with.
Car chargers aren’t meant to be used as car parking spaces. Many of the electric car chargers in the UK may have a limit on how long you can be in the spot, some levy idle time charges if you leave your car too long.
The best thing is that the companies offering charging points in the UK are investing in the infrastructure with more and more chargers appearing on a weekly basis than ever before. Including the introduction of dedicated charging service stations.
Today we’re going to look at the different networks available in the UK, covering the main providers in our latest guide.
BP Pulse (Formally Polar) os one of the most extensive charging networks in the UK, with banks of slow and fast chargers popping up in towns and cities.
You have a few options with BP Pulse. You can download the smartphone app and pay as you go or you can pay a membership fee to reduce the charging costs and make the charging experience a breeze.
BP are also rolling out more chargers with contactless card payment options.
Ecotricity will be a charger brand that you will be able to see at most service stations across the UK. Usually 2/3 chargers are available per location.
Activation is by using their smartphone app, this can be fiddly so we would recommend downloading and signing up in prep for your next long jorney, just in case.
Genie Point can be found at most Morrisons Supermarket locations in the UK and you will need to sign up free to their smartphone app to work.
They do charge a connection fee as well as a price per kW. In our experience we have never had a successful charge with many disconnections and many connection charges without any top-ups of the battery.
Instavolt is a super easy to use system where you do not need to sign up for anything, download a smartphone app or apply for an RFID card.
You simply use a contactless card to start the process and plug your car in to charge.
You are charged per kW and although the prices are slightly higher than other networks the locations and convenience are easy to justify to pay the extra.
Ionity is expanding in the UK, with plenty of investment coming in to increase the number of charges in the UK.
You can use the RFID card or sign up for the Smartphone app to operate and you’ll pay a price per kW.
Fun Fact. The network has the backing of BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and VW Group.
Osprey (Formally Engenie) is a pay as you go charger which is super easy to use.
You can pay via the Smartpone app or a contactless credit or debit card. Depending on the charger you use will depend if you pay per kW or per charge.
Whilst Pod Point is generally assoicated with home chargers, these can also be found at many supermarkets across the UK.
Their locations are expanding all of the time and many users claim they are easy to start and use. SOme points are even free to use.
Shell is investing millions in expanding their own charging networks and utilising their own service stations to provide convenient charging points which are super easy to use.
No membership is required, you just need to download the Shell Recharge app for your smartphone.
By far, the best charging network in the UK, we feel is Tesla’s. With more than 1000 available in the UK covering from Aberystwyth to Woodhall.
If you run a Tesla, its as simple as turning up, pluggin in the charger and waiting for the top-up. It is super fast as well, especially if you use one of the V3 Superchargers.
There are currently trials at selected locations, where non-Tesla drivers can also use the chargers via the Tesla App.
Ubitricity runs slightly different to other providers. For starters, their chargers are based on streets and not specific areas. There are pay as you gop options as well as a membership scheme.
The benefit of the membership is that the costs are slightly lower than the PAYG energy tariff.
Other Charging Networks
There are quite a few more charging point providers available in the UK. Today we have focused on the main companies. We will keep this article up to date on a regular basis and if you feel we have missed a major network please use the ENQUIRY FORM below to let us know.
Without doubt the most useful apps are based on the chargers in your local area. But we couldn’t be in an electric car without Zap-Map!
It is a fantastic app to find local charges and to see if they are working. Select your connection type and it will show everything on-route or within the local area.
Did you know?
There are more charging points in the UK than Petrol or Diesel Service Stations.