UK public charging networks can be classed as either national or regional. Given that public charging networks are still at an early stage of development, current networks vary widely in coverage, services offered, support, costs and membership options. The following table summarises the services offered by the main UK EV charging networks.
To find which public charge point networks cover your area, go to the map and use the network filter.
Use the tabs to view national public and regional public charging networks. Information on the service and coverage of each network is provided, as well as key details regarding memberships and costs. A link is also provided to each network’s website.
- National networks
- Regional 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 a smartphone app or RFID card, and there is both a pay-as-you-go or a subscription membership available.
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.
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 for an hour or more’. With wide spread coverage of fast chargers, Pod Point units are accessed via the Open Charge smartphone app and are often free to use.
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.
Tesla’s 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.
GeniePoint runs a national network which has responsibility for a number of regional schemes, covering areas such as the Lake District, Cornwall, and Hampshire. Points are accessed with an RFID card or app and are used on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Covering 16 London Boroughs, Source London has more than 500 charging points under its care. New points require a subscription to use, and have a pay-per-use cost, while old units can be used for free – both accessed using an RFID card.
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 car or online at chargeplacescotland.org. Network also accessible with CYC RFID card.
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.
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 includes most of the country, with many points in and around Belfast.
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 many points free to use. Rapid units may require payment, and 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.
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.
With rapid chargers available in Cheshire and Hampshire, Engenie operates units for both the general public and commercial fleets. Currently the Engenie network is free to use, though there will be a pay-as-you go system coming into effect in the near future.
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.
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 Charging at Home
Having a charge point at home is generally essential for EV owners. The Zap-Map guide provides info on suppliers and government grants as well as an overview of the latest offers and prices.
EV Charging at Work
Whether you are an EV fleet owner or an employee charging at work has many benefits. The Zap-Map guide provides businesses and employees details on the key suppliers, grants and offers available.