Electric vehicles and EV charging can at first appear a little confusing. Here we answer some of your most frequently asked questions. From questions about Zapmap, the route planner or Zap-Pay through to wider questions about electric cars and charging them, we’ve got you covered.
Zapmap makes electric vehicle charging simple.
We are the UK’s leading app and digital platform for EV drivers to search for charge points, plan longer journeys, pay on participating networks and share updates with other EV drivers.
Zapmap lets you search for charge points viewing live status data, plan journeys using Route Planner, pay for charging using Zap-Pay, share updates with other EV drivers and drive smarter with in-car support. See all the different features in our comparison table.
With 95%+ of public charge points mapped and around 70% of charge points showing live status data, Zapmap provides EV drivers with peace of mind and the confidence to drive any length of journey in their EV.
Live data is information that is obtained directly from the charge point data. Updated every five minutes, users can see if a charge point is available, in use or unavailable.
Networks with live data on Zapmap have their brand logo in the network filters list. For more info about our dynamic partners, go to our public charging network guides and look out for the live data symbol.
To filter charge points is easy! On the Map page, tap the Filters icon, then tap any filter options you want and then ‘Apply’ to filter using the filters you have selected.
There are many ways to filter the charge point data, including by EV model, connector, charge point power, network, location type, payment and access. In addition there are some enhanced filters available with Zapmap Premium.
Additional enhanced filters are unlocked by subscribing to Zamap Premium. With a subscription you can filter by new charge points added in the last 30 days, locations with multiple charge points, the location user rating and more detailed location types.
For those not on a subscription, the enhanced filters will have a padlock showing beside them.
Yes, you can! To save a filter (or combination of filters) you must be registered with Zapmap and signed into your account.
Apply the filters you would like, then press ‘Save’ in the top right of the screen. Give your filter a name and press ‘OK’. Your custom filter will now appear in your filters menu.
To delete a saved filter, swipe the filter to the left and ‘Delete’ will appear, click this and then ‘Delete’ when prompted again. You can also press & hold over the name and ‘Delete’ will appear, with a second prompt asking you to press ‘Delete’ again.
With a Zapmap account, you can save one filter. In order to save more you need to subscribe to Zapmap Premium.
With the Premium plan, you can save an unlimited number of filters.
To remove any filters you have applied, tap the Filter icon on the map page, and tap ‘Clear’ then ‘Apply’.
To view taxi-only points on Zapmap, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘App settings’ under Account. Tick the ‘Show “taxi only” points on app’ and when you return to the map, ‘taxi only’ charge points will be displayed, along with other charge points. A ‘taxi only’ filter option will appear in the filters menu, allowing you to filter for only taxi points.
To mark a charge point as a bookmark on Zapmap, find the charge point on the map or list views, go into the information box, then tap the bookmark icon at the top of the info box. To see only your bookmark points, tap the bookmark icon in the top right-hand corner of the map, next to the search button.
The colour inside the charge point markers illustrates charging speed; yellow = slow (<5kW), blue = fast (7-22kW), pink = rapid (43+kW). If there is more than one colour inside an icon then both charging speeds are available at that location.
The marker outline colour indicates charge point status; black = available, blue = charging (on some/all devices), red = Issue reported (on some/all devices).
Zapmap works closely with Charge Point Operators in the UK to provide integrated live status data, cross-network payment, and market insights and analysis – all with the aim of increasing network visibility and utilisation. Find out more on our networks page.
The main way to provide updates is to “Check-in” using the button on the charge point location. Then you can update the status of a charge point, add photos, share useful info or provide a general update.
You can also inform Zapmap about new charge points or share your home or work charge point. More generally, you can ask questions or interact with other users with the Cafe function in Chat.
To change the status of a connector, select ‘Check-in’ and choose the changes you would like to make to the connector. You can also leave an optional message or choose to apply to the whole device then press ‘Post’ to confirm.
To indicate a successful charge at a location, select the green ‘thumbs up’ button, select the connector you used, and press ‘Done’. You then have the option to leave a message or add a photo. Press ‘Post’ to submit your change to Zap-Chat. All posts will be immediately visible across Zapmap platforms.
To add a public charge point to Zapmap, complete the relevant ‘Add a charge point’ form on the website.
To add a public charge point via the app, make sure you are logged in then go to the ‘Settings’ menu on iOS or the hamburger symbol on Android and, under the ‘Add a charge point’ heading, there is an option to add a public charge point. To do so, click into ‘Add public charge point’ and follow the form’s instructions, then click ‘Submit details’.
Any difficulties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To suggest a charge point to Zapmap complete the relevant ‘Add a charge point’ form on the website.
To add your charge point via the app, make sure you are logged in then go to the ‘Settings’ menu on iOS or the hamburger symbol on Android and, under the ‘Add a charge point’ heading, there is an option to suggest a location. To do so, click into ‘Suggest location’, and follow the form’s instructions, then click ‘Submit details’.
Any difficulties, please email email@example.com.
To add your charge point to Zap-Home or Zap-Work, complete the relevant ‘Add a charge point’ form on the website.
To add your charge point via the app, make sure you are logged in then go to the ‘Settings’ menu on iOS or the hamburger symbol on Android and, under the ‘Add a charge point’ heading, there are options to add both Zap-Home and Zap-Work points. To do so, click into one of them, and follow the form’s instructions, then click ‘Submit details’.
Any difficulties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can edit your charge point details, connector types, price, and location on Zapmap by logging into your Zapmap account, going into ‘Settings’ and then choosing ‘Your Zap-Home point’ or ‘Your Zap-Work point’ under the ‘Add a charge point’ header.
To remove your Zap-Home or Zap-Work point from the map, please email email@example.com.
Absolutely, in the ‘Chat’ menu option in the bottom bar there are 2 tabs – ‘Cafe’ and ‘All’.
The Cafe is where to post any questions you have about the EV world, with ‘All’ showing all charge point updates and Cafe messages.
To upload a picture to a charge point, click on the charge point and slide up the InfoBox. Any pictures uploaded will show at the top. Click into the picture (or click ‘Be first to add a photo!’ if there aren’t any pictures) and click the ‘+’ sign in the top right corner.
Follow the instructions to add from either your camera or from your gallery, with the ability to also add in any comments to the photo. Once selected, click ‘Post’ and your picture will be posted. Please be aware that your picture should be a maximum of 2 Mb.
Our live data partners are sent the user status updates and comments posted on Zapmap and have the facility to respond or post updates to the comment within the chat.
Any networks that don’t show as ‘live’ do not get this information, so we recommend contacting the charge point network directly to let them know a specific issue has happened.
The Route Planner allows electric vehicle (EV) drivers to plan a route in their electric car based on journey parameters, EV models and driver options. There are three different routing modes: Autoroute, Suggest chargers and Show all chargers. Routes can be saved and retrieved within the mobile app or in-car system.
To plan a route using Route Planner, tap into ‘Routes’ in the bottom menu of the app. If you’re not already logged in, it will prompt you to do so:
Step 1: Enter your route, including your start point and destination plus any waypoints.
Step 2: Confirm your route and the system will display the route, distance, time, average speed and estimated energy used.
Step 3: Pick from three different routing modes and choose your other settings within the ‘More options’ button.
Step 4: Add your charge stop(s) if you had selected either ‘Show all chargers’ or ‘Suggest chargers’ on the previous step, otherwise the new autoroute mode skips this step.
Step 5: Review and save your route, naming it if you wish.
Step 6: Retrieve your route plan, either from the Routes page or on CarPlay (if subscribed to the Premium plan), with the option to view, edit or navigate along your electric journey.
Autoroute is the brand new routing mode. Based on EV model, journey parameters and driver options, it creates a complete route with charge points pre-selected en-route. All you have to do is click ‘Save’.
‘Show all chargers’, when selected, lets you see all of the chargers along the suggested route.
‘Suggest chargers’ shows a suggested cluster of chargers along your route.
As routes are calculated using an EV model’s range, it is required to enter your vehicle to use the route planner. If you haven’t already added an EV model to your Zapmap profile, you will need to specify one in the route plan options. Once this has been added or updated, it will be saved to your Zapmap profile.
To add an EV model at this step, tap on ‘Add vehicle’ and go through picking the make and model, then tap ‘Save’, then ‘Close’ and your EV will appear.
Your route plans will be saved under ‘Routes’. Once saved, they can be opened and viewed as a list or on the map.
To edit your saved route, select the route you want to edit and click ‘Edit’ to go back to Step 4 and edit the charger selections. If you need to go back further, tap the back button to choose a different route, edit driver options, and add waypoints.
As a standard registered user you can save three route plans. With Zapmap Premium you can save unlimited routes. Perfect for people who travel a lot!
Routes can be deleted in the app by tapping the trashcan symbol or by swiping left on a route plan. On the desktop, click on ‘Delete’.
After defining your route and options, the autoroute will suggest a route with distance, time, average speed and energy use. If your desired route is not suggested, go back to your route plan and add a waypoint.
If the estimated drive range is longer than the journey distance, the system will let you know and give you the option to go back and edit driver options. To complete the route, even if your EV doesn’t require a charge, you must add a stop.
If you would like to see more details about a potential charge point location before adding it to your route, pull up the InfoBox by swiping up on it, with connector status, price, and access details, plus the latest Zap-Chat community updates.
Zap-Pay is our simple way to pay for EV charging across networks from within the Zapmap app.
Ten charge point operators currently take Zap-Pay, with more on the way.
At present, you can pay quickly and easily for charging with Zap-Pay on the following networks:
We are continually signing up new networks and expect to add hundreds more charge points to the Zap-Pay network over the course of 2023.
Zap-Pay is an app-based payment system that uses a credit or debit card to pay for charging.
The process is simple for the user and is part of the standard check-in process on Zapmap. On a Zap-Pay payment-enabled point, the user selects the charger from within the app, selects the credit / debit card and starts charging.
Zap-Pay has a simple pay-as-you-go (PAYG) price structure that will be set at the same or similar level to the charging networks’ standard PAYG price. Zapmap reserves the right to charge a small transaction fee per session to the customer, with slight variations appropriate to the agreement with the charging provider. All prices include VAT.
When you’re at the charge point, open the charge point within the app, select a connector, select Zap-Pay as the payment method and the card you would like to use, and start charging.
Once your charging session is complete, you will be sent a VAT receipt, and if you are a registered user this will also be stored within your Zapmap account.
No, there is no need for any membership or subscription to use Zap-Pay. If you use Zap-Pay with the free account, you will have a more streamlined process, be able to save cards and view your full charging history.
There is also a guest option available that does not require registration.
To add a debit/credit card to use Zap-Pay is quite simple: sign in to the app, go to Settings in the bottom right corner (on iOS) or click on the hamburger icon in the top left-hand corner (on Android), click ‘Zap-Pay cards’ then click the plus sign in the top right-hand corner and follow instructions to add your card.
You can store multiple cards and remove cards you no longer need if logged in. There will be a pre-authorisation charge of 5p per card, which will be returned to you by your bank.
To find charge points that Zap-Pay can be used on, click into Filters in the map page, then ‘Payment’ and tap the ‘Zap-Pay’ option, then click ‘Apply’ to filter on it.
To find charge points that take contactless credit/debit cards, click into Filters in the map page, then ‘Payment’ and tap the ‘Contactless debit or credit card’ option. Click ‘Apply’ to filter down.
If using Zap-Pay while logged in, the receipt from charging will be stored within your account, which you can then view, and it will also be emailed to you.
Guest users will have the receipt emailed to the specified email address.
To make sure that your payment card is valid and also that there are funds available in your account, we make a £5 pre-authorisation charge. This is not a completed payment, but reserves £5 in your account prior to the completed charging session. The £5 will appear in the ‘pending’ section of your online bank account, but you won’t be debited.
When the session is complete, the pre-authorisation is removed once the full payment is successfully completed.
Zapmap works closely with Charge Point Operators in the UK to provide cross-network payment, integrated live status data, market insights and analysis – all with the aim of increasing network visibility and utilisation. Find out more on our networks page.
For any questions or support on Zap-Pay, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the in-car versions of the iOS and Android mobile device operating systems. They provide a simplified version of any app that supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in order to make it suitable for use whilst driving.
The in-car version of Zapmap has three main features:
Locating charge points
You can see all the charge points close to your current location, identify suitable points using the filters or search another area.
Viewing live charge point status
You can see the details of each charge point including live charge point status data (where available) and the latest EV driver chats.
Accessing route plans
You can pull up routes that you have planned on the mobile app and punch out to Apple Maps or Google Maps to get turn-by-turn directions.
Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included in our Zapmap Premium subscription service. Once subscribed (and logged in to the app on your mobile device) you will be able to connect to your in-car media system or head unit and access Zapmap.
If you are not subscribed and/or logged in you will see a message saying, ‘You must be logged in and subscribed to our Premium service to use Zapmap on Apple CarPlay’.
See how to find EV charge points even quicker and drive smarter with in-car support from Zapmap Premium in the video below.
The in-car apps support the following features:
The following filters are available within the in-car apps:
Route Plans created in Zapmap are listed and each ‘stop’ can be viewed and used to open your in-car navigation app.
You will need an iPhone or iPad running a minimum of iOS 14 installed and an Apple CarPlay compatible in-car device.
Once you connect your Apple device to the CarPlay unit, Zapmap will become available within Apple CarPlay, alongside the other Apple CarPlay compatible apps you have.
Using Android Auto is easy to set up once you are subscribed to Zapmap Premium.
From an Android device, connect your phone to your car and open the Android Auto app, then follow the on-screen instructions. The Zapmap app should appear automatically on your in-car screen or head-unit display.
Zapmap Premium is a subscription plan that provide enhanced features for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to help you plan quicker and drive smarter. Follow the link below to see all the different features available.
Zapmap Premium helps EV drivers plan quicker. Based on user feedback, Zapmap Premium includes a number of new ways to locate suitable charge points via enhanced filter options. New filters include filtering by new charge points, multiple locations, user rating and more detailed location types.
Zapmap Premium also enables EV drivers to save more user filters and route plans and to add multiple vehicles.
By popular demand, EV drivers can also see what3word addresses for charge points and the app can be enjoyed ad-free.
Zapmap Premium is now available within the in-car dashboard via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This means EV drivers can locate suitable charge points, view live charge point status and access route plans whilst on the move.
In addition, Zapmap Premium enables EV drivers to save unlimited filters, route plans and EV models.
Zapmap Premium is available on a monthly and annual subscription. The annual subscription is £2.49 per month (£29.99 per year) whilst the monthly subscription is £2.99.
To get either Zapmap Premium, make sure you’re registered within the app, tap into ‘Settings’ and scroll to ‘Account’ and tap on ‘Subscriptions’. Here you will be able to see all the details and subscribe.
The padlock icons shown across the app indicate where new features can be unlocked by Zapmap Premium.
To remove ads from the app, upgrade to Zapmap Premium for the best experience.
All of Zapmap’s core features are free and will remain free. This includes the ability to search for charge points, use the filters, view the charge point info, add chats and plan routes.
We will continue to develop free features. The latest version of the app has upgraded the connector and power rating filters and the user interface. The route planner has also been updated for all users, it now includes an autoroute routing method that creates a complete route with charge points selected, making routes easier to create!
To cancel your subscription from Zapmap on the Apple App Store please do the following: Open the App Store and tap on your profile picture at the top right, then tap Subscriptions. You may need to sign in with your Apple ID. Choose a subscription, then click cancel.
To cancel your subscription on the Google Play store, please do the following: Open the Google Play app, at the top right, tap the profile icon. Then tap Payments & Subscriptions and then Subscriptions, which will show your live subscriptions, select the subscription you wish to cancel and tap cancel subscription, then follow the instructions.
To register and set up an account with Zapmap go to the account menu and select ‘Sign in/Register’. Complete and submit all the requested details on the forms provided.
You will then receive an activation email from us (if you haven’t received an email, please check your spam folder). Follow the activation link to complete your registration. Use your email or username and password to log in.
To update your account details log into your Zapmap account, select ‘Your profile’ in the account menu and make the relevant changes, then press ‘Update’.
Email addresses can be changed by emailing us direct with the request to email@example.com. When you receive a confirmation email, there will also be an option to ‘Update subscription preferences’. Once completed, we will send you an email us to confirm that your email address has been updated.
To change your password, log in and select ‘Your profile’ in the account menu, change your password, then press ‘Update’.
Alternatively, use the ‘Lost your password?’ link at the bottom of the login page. You will then receive an email from us with a link to update your password. If you haven’t received an email, please check your spam folder.
First, log into your account, then go to ‘Your profile’ in the account menu, upload your avatar picture then press ‘Update’.
Open the account menu and go to ‘Your EV Models’. Press ‘Add your EV model’, select your brand and model, then press ‘Update’. Adding your EV Model to your Zapmap account allows you to filter charge points that are compatible with your electric vehicle and accurately plan routes using the Zapmap Route Planner.
Log into your account and go to ‘Contact preferences’ in the account menu. Then choose the type of information you would like to receive and the contact method(s) you would like us to use and press ‘Update’.
To add your charge point to Zap-Home or Zap-Work complete the relevant Add a charge point form on the website or app.
You can edit you charge point details, connector types, price, and location on Zapmap by logging into your Zapmap account, then choosing ‘Your Zap-Home point’ or ‘Your Zap-Work point’ in the account menu. To remove your Zap-Home or Zap-Work point from the map, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An electric vehicle (EV) is one that uses an electric motor for drive, powered by a battery and typically able to be recharged by plugging it in to an external power source.
Driving an electric car certainly feels different the first time around. Most notably an electric car is almost silent, with noise from the motor only noticeable at speed, and traditional wind and tyre noise created. Other than that, EVs drive in a similar way to conventional car with an automatic transmission, and are very easy to drive. But better than an automatic, they have lots of ‘torque’ from a standing start, which means that they are very responsive with even standard EV models having quick acceleration.
Most new EVs have a real-world range of somewhere between 80-250 miles, depending on the model. Small, city-focused cars sit at the lower end of the range spectrum, with many family models easily able to cover 110-180 miles on a single charge, though there are an increasing number that can cover 200-250 miles. Premium models, like the Tesla range or Jaguar I-Pace, can cover 250-300+ miles on a full battery.
If you are thinking of buying a EV, there are three issues that need to be considered that will determine which type of EV is the right vehicle for you: your access to a private off-street charging point, your daily mileage and your overall budget. Read on to see which EV is suitable for your vehicle and travel requirements.
Range can be affected by a number of factors. These include internal factors like the use of air conditioning and/or heating. Driving style can have a great impact too, with higher speeds and aggressive acceleration significantly decreasing the range available.
Making good use of regenerative braking can reduce the rate at which your battery’s charge will drop too, and the outside temperature has an impact too – with batteries preferring warm to cold conditions.
Electric vehicles are zero-emission at point of use. However, emissions are produced during the generation of electricity – the amount depending on the method of generation. Therefore, the emissions need to be considered on a life cycle basis so as to include power station emissions.
For climate change gases (such as CO2), electric cars charged using average UK ‘mains’ electricity show a significant reduction in emissions – the figures suggest a reduction of around 40% compared to an average small petrol car (tailpipe 120 g/km CO2). This is improving all the time too, as the UK’s electricity mix is increasingly made up of a greater ratio of renewable energy.
According to the results of crash testing conducted for all cars and vans EVs have to adhere to the same safety regulations as conventional vehicles – note however that quadricycles like the Renault Twizy are not covered by the same testing regimes. Many of the UK’s best-selling EVs have been awarded five stars by independent safety body EuroNCAP.
However, it should be said that there have been a small number of fires from lithium batteries, most notably involving the Tesla Model S in the United States. However, Tesla has published in-depth data to show that the incidences of fires is no greater than for conventional cars (which may be reported less frequently).
Most mainstream manufacturers offer electric models as part of their line-ups, with more being released all the time.
The answer is typically ‘less than in a petrol or diesel car’ as fuel costs for a petrol or diesel car are usually in the range 10-15 p/mile, and only 3-4 p/mile for a home-charged pure-EV. Because of the variety of models available, each will have different costs per trip, depending on where it is charged, and how efficient the EV is compared to other electric models.
Many pure EV models are not currently charged Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). However, a new pure-EV costing more than £40,000 will be subject to the £335 Premium Rate for years 2-6. First year rates are usually zero, and BIK rates are much lower than petrol or diesel models.
The two most common places to charge an EV is at home or at work. Public charge points can either be: a valuable alternative for EV users without access to a home or workplace charger, a convenient way to occasionally top-up, or essential for ‘en route’ charging during longer EV journeys.
Zapmap has the most comprehensive coverage of public EV charge points across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
There are a three main types of EV charge point (slow, fast and rapid) as well as a number of charging connectors, some of which are suitable for a particular EV. Check out Zapmap’s EV Charging Guides for a comprehensive ‘how to’ guide for all the main EV models.
Alternatively, use the connector filters on Zapmap to find out which public charge points your EV can use.
Charge points tend to be similar in operation from network to network, but access requirements and costs can vary. Some require an RFID card to use them, others an app, while an increasing number offer contactless card payment. Most networks need/allow a user to register details beforehand.
Costs vary greatly for public EV charging, depending on how much charge is required, the cost of electricity for each network, and what type of public charge point is used. Some will cost nothing to use, while rapid charging will typically be priced higher than fast charging, due to convenience and higher charge point installation costs.
EV charging costs vary from model to model as different battery sizes affect how much energy is used. Expect a cost per charge at home to cost around £5.
Home charging calculator