While most EV charging events are conducted at home or at work, public charging networks provide additional charging support, and the opportunity to extend journey distances in EV mode. Most networks offer a mix of slow, fast and rapid charging options.
The following list provides an overview of the UK’s main EV charging networks with links through to in-depth network guides. Each guide provides details of the network operator, any cross-network agreements, the network’s charger locations and access methods, and any fees that may apply.Networks with 5-minute live data updates on Zap-Map are indicated with an icon on their respective logos. Dynamic data shows a blue marker around charge point icons when it is in use. Further networks will be adding dynamic data to Zap-Map in the near future.
UK charging networks
- Major networks
- Minor networks
- Taxi networks
Polar is the UK’s largest public charging network, with charge points ranging from three-pin units to rapid chargers available. Access is via smartphone app or RFID card, and there is both a pay-as-you-go or a subscription membership available. Polar is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner.
Charge Your Car is the largest pay-as-you-go network in the UK, with more than 2,000 devices available nationwide. These are either free to use or charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. Access is via RFID card, and Polar Plus customers can also use CYC points.
GeniePoint runs a national network, primarily operating rapid EV charge points, though with some fast units available at certain locations. Points are accessed with an RFID card or web app and are used on a pay-as-you-go basis. GeniePoint is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner.
Source London runs more than 500 charging points. New points require a subscription to use and have a pay-per-use cost, or can be used on a pay-as-you-go basis – old units can be used for free – both accessed using an RFID card. Source London is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner.
Northern Ireland’s regional network, ecar has more than 150 devices available to EV drivers. Offering rapid and fast units, the network provides free access to all points via RFID card. Coverage is countrywide. ecarni is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner.
InstaVolt operates a rapid charging network – with CCS and CHAdeMO conncetors available – on a pay-as-you-go basis. There is no subscription, membership, RFID card, or app required. Instead all of its rapid chargers accept contactless payment from a credit or debit card.
With rapid chargers available in Cheshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire, Engenie operates units for both the general public and commercial fleets. Access is via contactless bank card or Apple Pay, so no registration or membership is required.
Ubitricity operates a network that installs charge points into lamp-posts, aimed at providing residential on-street charging, particularly important for those EV drivers without access to off-street parking.
Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network has charge points at just about every motorway service station in the UK. Rapid chargers are accessed via a smartphone app, though there are a few fast charge points which are free to use and used with an RFID card.
With an expansive network, Pod Point aims to offer an EV charge point ‘everywhere you park’. With wide-spread coverage of fast chargers, Pod Point also provides rapid points for the likes of Tesco and Lidl. Units are accessed via the network’s smartphone or web app and are often free to use.
Tesla operates two nationwide networks – Supercharger and Destination. Supercharger points are typically on motorway and trunk roads, providing rapid charger capability. Destination chargers are normally at ‘locations’ such as hotels. No access app or RFID card needed.
ESB EV Solutions offers rapid EV charge points in London and Coventry. Also operating networks in Ireland and for taxi drivers, access for ESB EV Solutions points is either through a subscription service or PAYG access via RFID card or app.
Shell Recharge is a rapid charging-only network, with points located at the company’s petrol station forecourts. No membership charges or RFID cards are needed, with access via the Smoov app for the rapid units, which offer CCS, CHAdeMO, or Type 2 charging.
Zero Carbon World’s ZeroNet network specialises in providing EV charge points for hospitality locations, such as hotels, restaurants, pubs, and B&Bs. All are pay-as-you-go units – though many are free – and there is no RFID card or app needed to access the point.
ESB ecars operates across the Republic of Ireland, providing around 500 EV charge points for Irish drivers. The network’s fast and rapid chargers are located across the Republic of Ireland, accessed via RFID card. ESB ecars is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner.
Backed by Transport Scotland, the ChargePlace Scotland network provides hundreds of EV charging points across the the country mainly for free. Users can access the points using a ChargePlace Scotland RFID card or online. Network also accessible with CYC RFID card.
Zap-Home has been set-up by Zap-Map to allow peer-to-peer home charge point sharing for EV drivers. Available to registered Zap-Map users,
Zap-Home lets the charge point owner set charging fees – if any – and access is dependant on the type of home unit available.
Zap-Work allows small business charge point owners to share their points with other EV drivers. A peer-to-peer charging network created by Zap-Map, Zap-Work lets the charge point owner set any fees – though some are free to use – and access is dependent on the point’s location and type.
Swarco’s E.Connect network is rapidly growing, having an established base in Europe and a number of partnerships already in the UK. As a charge point manufacturer, the company is now rolling out its own network across the country.
Responsible for charge points in the Midlands, Plugged-in Midlands manages more than 100 devices for EV owners. As part of the Polar network, users pay a subscription to access the points, though the majority of units are free to use.
Greater Manchester EV Scheme has around 100 devices covering Manchester and surrounding areas. Access is obtained using a CYC RFID card or smartphone app, with all points free to use, although parking charges might apply.
With charge points in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire, Source West manages both fast and rapid charge points for EV drivers. Access is via the CYC network, which involves an RFID card or smartphone app. Fast chargers are free to use, though rapids are pay-per-use.
Electric Blue is an EV taxi specialist that runs publicly accessible charge points. Working closely with local authorities, points are sited in key locations within the region, and accessed with an RFID card or app
Hubsta is a fast-growing EV charging network, found in England and Wales. Predominantly offering fast and rapid chargers, Hubsta offers extensive cross-network compatibility with charge point operators across mainland Europe.
Currently based in the north of England, Alfa Power is set to roll-out chargers nationwide. It’s the first network to add a 100 kW rapid (other than Tesla’s Superchargers), and access is via RFID card, app, or QR reader.
Vattenfall’s InCharge network is powered by 100% renewable electricity, and has been designed to provide simple access requirements for EV drivers. Rolling out with local authorities in East Anglia and the south east, the network will expand quickly in the coming year.
The ChargerNet network covers south Dorset, with both fast and rapid chargers are available for drivers to use. Charge Your Car RFID card or smartphone app provides access, with rapid chargers available on a pay-per-use basis.
Operated by Merseytravel, Recharge provides EV charge points across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire West and Chester. Drivers can access the points with a CYC RFID card or app. Points are free to use though there may be parking charges applicable.
With points in the South East of England, Energise has fast and slow units available for drivers to access in Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. Users can access the points with a Charge Your Car RFID card or app, and most points are free to use, though there may be parking charges.
EV Driver points are currently focused around Suffolk with fast chargers available, though the network will expand nationwide soon and add rapid units to the system. A pay-as-you-go system is in place for drivers who have first registered for free. EV Driver is a Zap-Map dynamic network partner
Currently focused in the North West, the LiFe network is operated by Franklin Energy, which has plans to expand across the UK within two years. Users sign up for free and pay-per-usage with an account, or drivers can access points on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Char.gy’s EV charge points are fitted to lamp posts, allowing for convenient on-street charging infrastructure. Available either on PAYG or with subscriptions tailored to those that don’t have off-street parking, the charge points are accessed via web app.
Rapid-only network Fastned specialises in charging hubs, and provides a range of different rapid charger speeds to EV drivers in one location. Access is via app, RFID card, or in the future, via vehicle-to-charger communication using Fastned’s Autocharge feature.
Ionity is a pan-European ultra-rapid charging network, that installs multiple 350 kW CCS units at locations along the main routes in the UK and the continent. Access is via app, QR code reader, or RFID card, with a set price per charging session.
Having established itself in the Netherlands and then mainland Europe, NewMotion now brings its extensive EV charging expertise to the UK. The network consists of fast and rapid chargers, currently in England only. Access is pay-as-you-go via either an RFID card or app.
E.ON Drive has plans to expand rapidly in the UK from Europe, with large numbers of points due, including more than 180 ultra-rapid points by 2020. A range of slow, fast, rapid, and ultra-rapid points are planned, and access is via app, RFID card, or online payment portal.
Now defunct, Source East was responsible for more than 800 public EV charging points in the East of England. Since shutting down at the end of March 2017, points will gradually be phased into existing networks. Legacy units can be accessed with Source East RFID cards until upgraded.
BP Chargemaster Taxi is a network of rapid charge points, as part of the Transport for London rapid network in the capital. Restricted to taxi use only (Hackney Cabs) they are accessible using a contactless debit or credit card on a PAYG basis.
ESB EV Solutions is one of Transport for London’s rapid charging network concessions. Operating rapid charge points across London, ESB EV Solutions (Taxi) units are dedicated for taxi-use only, with specific pricing for taxi drivers. Access is via RFID card or app.
Network coverage and costs
To find which public charge point networks cover your area, go to the live Zap-Map and use the network filter to select networks from the list provided.
To find the cost to charge an EV on a public charge point, Zap-Map’s Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.
EV Charging at Home
Having a charge point at home is generally essential for EV owners. Zap-Map’s Charging at home guide provides information on government grants, as well as suppliers and charging units available.
EV Charging at Work
Whether you are an EV fleet owner or an employee, charging at work has many benefits. Zap-Map’s Charging at work guide provides businesses and employees details on the key suppliers and grants available.