While many EV drivers opt for charging at home or even charging at work, public networks also provide invaluable charging support, plus the opportunity to extend journey distances. Most networks offer a mix of slow, fast and rapid charging options.
The table below provides an overview of the UK’s main public 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.
The table splits the networks into three categories: Rapid, Destination, and On-street & Community networks. Zap-Map defines a Rapid network as any network that comprises only rapid charging devices, or has at least 50 rapid or ultra-rapid devices.
Networks with live data updates on Zap-Map are indicated with an icon on their respective logos. Updated every five minutes, live data shows a blue marker around charge point icons when it is in use.
UK charging networks
- Rapid networks
- Destination networks
- On-street & Community
ESB Energy offers a public network of rapid EV charge points in London and Coventry as well as charge points for taxi drivers. All ESB Energy charge points are Zap-Pay enabled and there are also membership, contactless and ESB app options available.
GeniePoint runs a national network, primarily operating rapid EV charge points, though with some fast units available at certain locations. All GeniePoint charge points are Zap-Pay enabled, or can also be accessed with an app or RFID card on a pay-as-you-go basis. GeniePoint is part of the Zap-Pay partner network as well as the Zap-Map live data network.
Osprey has a UK-wide network of rapid chargers which support all EVs available on the market. Formerly known as Engenie, as Zap-Map’s launch partner for Zap-Pay all Osprey charge points are Zap-Pay enabled, in addition to offering payment via contactless credit or debit cards or the Osprey app.
Zap-Pay coming soon: MFG EV Power operates a network of rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices at service stations across the UK. There is no subscription or connection charge to use MFG devices. Drivers can pay for charging using contactless payment or through the MFG app, and will soon be able to pay using Zap-Pay once the network comes online.
Zap-Pay coming soon: 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. Fastned is part of the Zap-Map Live data network.
bp pulse, formerly known as Polar, is one of the UK’s largest public charging networks, 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. bp pulse is part of the Zap-Map live data network.
Backed by Transport Scotland, the ChargePlace Scotland network provides hundreds of EV charging points across the the country. Users can access the points using a ChargePlace Scotland RFID card or online.
The ChargerNet network covers south Dorset, with both fast and rapid chargers are available for drivers to use. A Charge Your Car RFID card or smartphone app provides access, with rapid chargers available on a pay-per-use basis.
Charge Your Car is one of the largest public charging networks in the UK, with 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.
The Electric Highway public charging network covers the UK’s motorway network, with points at service stations across Britain. It is owned and operated by GRIDSERVE, which has been upgrading all existing Electric Highway charging devices, and is also installing new Electric Highway locations. The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway is part of the Zap-Map live data network.
InstaVolt operates a rapid charging network – with CCS and CHAdeMO connectors 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.
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.
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 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.
Shell Recharge is a rapid charging network, with points located at the company’s petrol station forecourts. No membership charges or RFID cards are needed, with access via the Shell Recharge app for rapid units, which offer CCS, CHAdeMO, or Type 2 charging.
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.
Zap-Pay partner Mer has a public network of fast and rapid chargers across the UK. Drivers can access the network as guest users or by registering as customers. Mer is owned by Norwegian renewable energy supplier Statkraft and recently acquired the Hubsta network.
Zap-Pay coming soon: Revive is a regional public EV charging network covering the South West. Replacing Source West as the region’s network, Revive uses Geniepoint’s expertise and systems to provide EV drivers with pay-as-you-go access to fast and rapid points.
Currently based in the north of England, Alfa Power is set to roll-out chargers nationwide. It was the first network to add a 100 kW rapid (other than Tesla’s Superchargers), and access is via RFID card, app, or QR reader.
Clenergy EV is a growing network that aims to provide simple, fair and accessible electric vehicle charging. The network currently consists of a mixture of slow, fast and rapid charging devices across the UK. There is no membership fee to use Clenergy EV devices. Drivers can pay for charging through the Clenergy EV app or using an RFID card. Clenergy EV is part of the Zap-Map Live data network.
D2N2 is a regional public EV charging network for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Operated by Charge Your Car on behalf of local authorities, there are cheaper rates available for residents of the region, alongside general public access.
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 part of the Zap-Map live data network.
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.
Based in Ireland, GOCharge operates a fast charging network predominantly made up of 22 kW units. Access is via RFID card or smartphone app.
Predominantly focused in the North West, the LiFe network is owned by RAW Charging, which took ownership of the LiFe network in November 2021. Users can either sign up for free and pay-per-usage with an account, or drivers can access points on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Plug-N-Go operates a pay-as-you-go public EV charging network across a number of areas in the United Kingdom, including the Channel Islands. Points are accessible via RFID card or the network’s smartphone app.
Be.EV is Greater Manchester’s public EV charging network, operated on a pay-as-you-go basis by Amey. EV drivers in the region can use fast or rapid points, accessed via RFID card or web page. Currently free to use, a price per kWh charge will be introduced later in 2021.
Car Charged UK operates fast and rapid charge points, currently available in Yorkshire, the East Midlands and Wales. Access is via app or RFID card/fob for registered users, with PAYG access available via the website.
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.
EV-Dot operates fast 22 kW charge points in Norfolk and Kent, with the public EV charging network set to expand nationwide. Units are accessed via app, or RFID card/fob, with a pay-as-you-go pricing structure.
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.
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.
The GMEV network is being replaced by a new, pay-as-you-go network – Be.EV. Initially set-up by Transport for Greater Manchester’s EV Scheme, access to charge points was obtained using a CYC RFID card or smartphone app, with all points free to use.
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.
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 network’s charge points are accessed via its app or through Zap-Pay.
Zap-Pay coming soon: ChargeMyStreet is a community project currently based in Lancaster and Cumbria, creating a network of fast EV charge points for drivers without access to off-street parking and domestic charging.
Zap-Pay coming soon: Connected Kerb aims to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility for all people with reliable, affordable and accessible electric vehicle charging solutions. Drivers can pay for charging through the Connected Kerb app or using an RFID card, and will soon be able to pay using Zap-Pay once Connected Kerb comes online.
bp pulse 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.
EB Charging is an EV taxi specialist that runs publicly accessible charge points. The company, which was formerly known as Electric Blue, works closely with local authorities to ensure its charging points are sited in key locations within the relevant area. Its charging points are accessed with an RFID card or app.
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.
Working in residential areas of UK towns and cities, Liberty Charge serves residents who don’t have access to off-street parking or charging facilities. Drivers can pay for charging on the network of fast, on-street devices through the Liberty Charge app, with an RFID card, or using a QR code. Liberty Charge is part of the Zap-Map Live data network.
Predominantly focused in the North West, the LiFe network is operated by RAW Charging. The LiFe taxi network comprises a small number of taxi-only charge points in and around Sheffield, which can be accessed with the PAYG LiFe app or RFID card.
Specialising in lamp-post and bollard installations, ubitricity’s large network provides charge points often found lining streets and in car parks. Available on a PAYG basis with credit or debit card payments, ubitricity also offers access via its SmartCable.
Source London runs a network of slow and fast charging devices. 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.
Network coverage and costs
To find which public charge point networks cover your area, go to Zap-Map’s live 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. You can personalise the results 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.