Best and worst electric vehicle chargers revealed – survey

Research looked at which of the UK’s 12 largest providers was best.

An electric car being charged
An electric car being charged

A new study has looked at the best and worst places to charge up an electric vehicle in the UK.

To find out which of the UK’s 12 largest electric car charging providers was best, WhatCar? spoke to 2,800 electric and plug-in hybrid car drivers and asked them to rate networks according to accessibility, charging speed, ease of payment, reliability and value for money.

After this, WhatCar? staff visited at least one charging point for each of the 12 companies to gain a ‘snapshot’ of what they were like and rated them on the same criteria as the EV owners had used.

Gridserve came out on top with an overall rating of 85.2 per cent, with its Electric Forecourt stations proving a real hit with drivers. Owners rated it a full 100 per cent fo ease of payment, as well as 90 per cent for value-fo-money. It fell behind slightly in terms of reliability, scoring 67.6 per cent .

Instavolt came in second place, scoring highly for its reliability and value for money, while returning an overall rating of 85.1 per cent. Fastned took the bronze medal with its 84 per cent overall rating and 90 per cent score for charging speed.

Steve Huntingford, What Car? editor, said: “Our investigation highlights how vastly different the quality of service can be at different public charging networks. Enabling electric car owners to connect and pay quickly and easily are vital ingredients for a satisfactory experience. Sites that also provide somewhere warm and dry, with shops and other facilities where you can wait in comfort for your car to charge are best of all.

“As more people switch to electric cars, demand for convenient, pleasant public charging locations will only increase, and our research shows that you need to plan ahead and pick the best providers to find the best charging solutions.”

At the other end of the scale came Charge Your Car in twelfth place with an overall rating of 55.5 per cent, while Geniepoint and Charge Place Scotland didn’t fare much better with ratings of 65.2 and 69.4 per cent respectively.

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