Electric Cars: List Of Public Charging Networks

electric car charging

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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Range Anxiety: Reality Or Myth?

Despite the fact that EVs are charged mostly at home or the workplace, range anxiety in relation to public charging, remains a prominent theme in the rapidly evolving electric vehicle sector.  To a large extent range anxiety has been exaggerated

The latest electric cars can comfortably achieve a ‘real world’ range between 100 miles to 200 miles. Some battery electric vehicles (BEV), like the Tesla Model 3 have a WLTP range over 300 miles.  

Bottom-line, EVs today can meet the needs of most drivers in the UK. 

How Many Public Charging Points Are There In the UK?

Like, range anxiety, public charging infrastructure has also been making regular headlines.  Aspiring EV owners are concerned about the availability of public charging points.  A valid concern, but one that has also been amplified out of context.   

Well, this will surprise you and validate the above assertion on exaggeration.  In fact, in May 2019, the total number of public charging stations surpassed the total number of petrol stations in the UK.  This in itself is an incredible achievement, but given that public EV charging points have achieved this milestone in a matter of a few years is remarkable.  

Public charging points are being installed across the UK on a daily basis and at the continued rate of deployment, the spread of public charging infrastructure will eradicate any concern whatsoever in regards to charging on the go! 

electric car public charging point
Electric Car Public Charging Point

According to Zap-Map, as of 10thJuly 2019 the UK has achieved the following:

  • 24,358 connectors
  • 14,324 devices 
  • 8,981 locations 

As of 2018, there were 8,394 petrol stations in the UK.

Who Are All The Network Operators?

There are several public charging network operators in the UK (up to 20) of various sizes and geographic reach.  

As the EV market continues to evolve, we will certainly witness new entrants and the consolidation of incumbent operators.  The market is already witnessing this, as competitors race for market leadership.  There is no doubt, that the public charging market in the UK will continue to remain very dynamic in the immediate term. 

ecotricity green energy supplier
Ecotricity: Green Energy And EV Charging Supplier

However, as expected, in a nascent and fast evolving market, there are varied customer engagement models, charges and geographic focus.  For example, some networks operators provide free charging, while others charge up to 36p per kWh.  Some don’t require a subscription, while others do.  Hopefully overtime the public charging infrastructure in the UK will become more standardised.  

Key Public Charging Operators

  • Charge Your Car (CYC)
    • Network of charging stations across the UK
    • Includes Energise, GMEV, Source West and Charge Place Scotland 
    • Pay-as-you-go EV charging network
    • Does not own the charging points, instead manages the network on behalf of charging station owners 

  • Ecotricity
    • Britain’s greenest energy company 
    • Owns the ‘Electric Highway’. Over 300 charging points at motorway service stations
    • If not an Ecotricity green energy customer, it costs 30p kWh. However, as an Ecotricity green energy customer, 50% discount i.e. 15p kWh 
    • Only allowed to charge for a maximum of 45 minutes 
    • Offers the ‘Fully Charged Bundle’. Can save up to £270 to include home and public charging 
    • Access via mobile app 

  • Engenie 
    • Pay-as-you-go with no membership fees 
    • No connection fees 
    • Flat rate of 36p per kWh
    • Pay by contactless or Apple Pay 
    • Network of rapid chargers 

  • Instavolt 
    • Pay-as-you-go service. No subscription fee 
    • No connection charge or minimum spend 
    • Flat rate of 35p per kWh 
    • National network
    •  Contactless payment (no need to download a mobile app or RFID card)

  • Pod Point 
    • No subscription fees 
    • Providing charging at key locations like supermarkets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants etc. (to include, LIDL, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Hilton, Premier Inn and Gatwick)
    • Many free locations for charging.  Where a fee applies, it is charged either on a kWh or hourly basis 
    • Access network through mobile app (some older charging points require RFID)

  • Polar Network (Polar plus)
    • The largest electric car charging network in the UK 
    • Over 7,000 points across the UK with access to CYC network
    • Monthly subscription (£7.85/ month).  First 3 months free
    • Majority of chargers free (up to 80%).  However some cost 9p per kWh (excluding VAT)
    • Operated by BP Chargemaster

  • Shell Recharge 
    • National network 
    • Subscription free: pay-as-you-go via contactless, NewMotion app/card, SMOOV app
    • No connection fees 
    • Standard recharge service costs 39p per kWh
    • 100% certified renewable energy sources
    • UK first 150kW EV charger on a forecourt

  • Source London 
    • London network of EV charge points powered by green energy 
    • Over 1,000 charging points across London (partnerships with 23 London boroughs)
    • On-street parking and charging 
    • Offer Full Membership (£4/ month) and Flexi Membership (£10 one-off fee) schemes

Other Networks Include

Tesla EV Charging Network
Tesla EV Charging Network
  • ESB EV
  • Ubitricity 
  • Tesla 

We will continue to update the list as we receive further updates from the market place. However, for long journeys please plan ahead by using the Charge Map.

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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