The top networks for electric car drivers have been ranked in Zap-Map’s 2019 EV Charging Survey, highlighting the pick of the public plug-in points. Users have rated 26 networks’ reliability, ease of access, speed, cost, and facilities, with both nationwide and regional operators judged.
The number one electric vehicle network
First in the Electric Vehicle Survey list is Tesla’s Supercharger network. Users praise the ability to use the high-power and fast charging points. However this is only accessible by Tesla owners.
Second in the list is InstaVolt, which is able to be used by the majority of electric vehicles. All you need a contactless bank card for payment to use the company’s rapid charging points.
In third place is Pod Point, which operates a range of charger speeds.
Electric vehicle charging: what to look out for
With more than 1,600 EV drivers giving their feedback, the Zap-Map Charging Survey is a pretty good guide as to which Electric Vehicle charging is the best. However there are a few essentials to keep in mind, such as the compatibility of your vehicle, and if you are looking for a fast charge.
The number one network, the Tesla Supercharger Network, is a good example. This scores highly in the survey, but can only be used by Tesla drivers. For example, for those driving a Nissan Leaf, you would not be able to use the Tesla Supercharger network.
Most fully electric cars can be rapid charged, using fast charging points allowing a top-up in between 20-45 minutes for many models, depending on make, model and battery size.
Plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs) typically can’t be rapid charged, however, so again, the rapid-charger only InstaVolt network in second place isn’t any use. Networks such as Pod Point in third and Polar in joint fifth, which run slow, fast, and rapid chargers, would be more useful for those with full electric vehicles looking for a fast or slow charge, and drivers with plug-in electric hybrids.
Easy access chargers
For many electric vehicle drivers or those looking to replace their petrol or diesel car with an electric vehicle, some public charge points can prove confusing.
With a wide range of different access types, with the main ones being RFID card, apps for your smartphones, and increasingly, contactless credit or debit card payment options. Contactless payment card chargers are the easiest to use as they require no registration or account set-up before being able to charge up your electric car, similar to a conventional petrol filling station.
More frequent users tend to sign up for an RFID card where offered. This offers reliability, plus all of the users account details are sorted and stored on the card beforehand.
Although mobile phone app access is widespread, this obviously relies on a reasonable mobile phone signal.
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