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!
According to Zap-Map, as of 10thJuly 2019 the UK has achieved the following:
- 24,358 connectors
- 14,324 devices
- 8,981 locations
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- ESB EV
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.