With more motorists making the switch to electric and plug-in hybrid models, it’s meant more drivers than ever are becoming reliant on a growing network of public EV chargers cropping up across the UK.
And just like when it comes to petrol stations, there are a range of electric car charging providers to use. But there are significant disparities in the effectiveness of some compared to others.
A survey of 1,500 electrified vehicle owners by leading charging finder service Zap-Map revealed the chargers that some EV owners love, and others that they’d rather avoid.
Up at the top as the UK’s favourite charging network is Tesla, which has its own network of chargers – the only car company in the UK with this – that were rated 4.8 stars out of five. The downside, though, is that they’re only available to drivers of Tesla vehicles – the Model S, Model X and Model 3.
Ranked second was Instavolt (4.4 stars), which is the top multi-brand charging network in the UK, and was praised by drivers for the reliability and speed of charging. In third was Osprey (4.1 stars), which used to be known as Engenie and was acclaimed for its reliability and ease of use.
At the bottom of the table was Ecotricity’s Electric Highway, which scored just two stars. With a network of chargers found mainly at handy service stations, you may expect them to score highly, but drivers criticised the chargers for being out of date and often poorly maintained.
Second from bottom was Charge Your Car (2.6), with its chargers being rated poorly for reliability and a difficult-to-use app. Next was Source London (2.7), which has a fleet of chargers across the capital, but were criticised for being expensive to use and slow, as they have no rapid chargers.
Dr Ben Lane, co-founder of Zap-Map, said: “As the EV market moves from early adopters to the mass market, EV drivers just want to charge without any fuss. Poor-performing networks will need to take a long, hard look at the quality of the services they offer if they want to retain their customers as the EV market grows apace.”