Tesla, InstaVolt, and PodPoint have been voted as the best EV charging networks in the UK by Zap-Map users, with the three having the top satisfaction ratings by those drivers that use them.
Tesla’s Supercharger network saw 93% of those surveyed report they were ‘very satisfied’, and 3% were ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the experience. Feedback showed that the reliability and national coverage were elements that saw the network achieve top marks by Zap-Map users.
However, the Supercharger network is only available to those that own or run a Tesla. In second place, and top of those networks available to use by drivers of other EVs too, was InstaVolt.
The rapid-charging network saw 88% of users being satisfied with the experience at its points – 65% as very satisfied and 22% somewhat satisfied. The ease of use, and contactless card payment and access were the highlights for those surveyed.
Pod Point’s UK-wide network took third place, and is available for more drivers still. Combining slow, fast, and rapid units, Pod Point offers EV charging for anyone with a plug-in car. More than 700 of the 1,600 Zap-Map users that took part in the survey use Pod Point units, and 82% were satisfied with the network – 50% very satisfied, and 32% somewhat satisfied.
Most networks had a positive satisfaction score of more than 50%, though ‘dissatisfied’ reports from users dropped their ratings. Poor reliability, unit communication issues, and higher-than-average charging costs were the main bugbears users commented on.
Zap-Map’s data reveals that, on average, the UK’s public EV charging infrastructure reliability is improving though. Analysis in July 2017 showed that 14.8% of devices were out of service (including 4.1% partially operational). By August 2018, this had reduced to 8.5% being out-of-service (1.1% partially), indicating significant investment by UK networks in the past year.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Ben Lane, CTO and co-founder of Zap-Map, said: “EV drivers are acutely aware of the different levels of service offered by UK charging networks and have strong opinions as to what constitutes a high-quality charging experience.
“While comparing networks is complex due to differences in the services offered, Zap-Map’s survey shows that EV drivers value charge point reliability and ease-of-use, competitive pricing on a per kWh basis and, for rapids, contactless card operation. The network satisfaction survey confirms that networks employing these key elements are more highly-rated by EV drivers.”
Other results from the survey saw that, of the 1,688 people who took part, 86% drive pure-EVs over PHEVs; the top three models driven are the Nissan Leaf (42%), Renault Zoe (14%), and BMW i3 (13%); and the three most used public charging networks are Electric Highway (65%), Polar (57%), and Pod Point (48%). This last point comes from the answers to the question “What public networks do you regularly use (as a member or on PAYG)?”.