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What Car? Ranks Britain's Electric Charging Networks

With electric cars and vans becoming more common, it is important to know where to find the best places for a quick top-up when out on the road.

Luckily, What Car? has done all the hard work for us by asking 1,000 owners of electric vehicles (EVs) to rate Britain’s public charging networks.

They combined these ratings with their own test results to determine ranks for each network.

How did What Car? set the ranking criteria?

What Car? set out factors that were to be taken into consideration when rating the networks. They were:

  • accessibility and location,
  • charging speed,
  • ease of payment,
  • reliability and
  • value for money.

Of particular interest to the van drivers amongst us are the reliability, accessibility and location and ease of payment categories.

Accessibility takes into account how much space there is to position a vehicle – useful if in a van or large SUV – and easy payments that avoid lengthy sign-up processes, along with a reliable service, are vital when working to a tight schedule.

Let's See The full results

The table below summarises the results of the survey.

Company

Reliability

Location

Charge speed

Value

Ease of payment

Tesla

83.7%

74.3%

95.5%

95.5%

100%

Instavolt

92.6%

63.5%

79.0%

71%

100%

Osprey

80.6%

71.3%

61.7%

69.8%

100%

Shell Recharge

75%

53.5%

91.7%

57.5%

100%

Pod Point

70.3%

69.9%

54.7%

93%

70%

Gridserve Electric Highway

23.7%

74.9%

84.6%

67.6%

100%

BP Pulse

36.9%

45.0%

87.2%

52%

100%

Ionity

60.6%

61.4%

95.3%

19.5%

70%

Engie

53.8%

54.5%

59.5%

91.9%

40%

Charge Place Scotland

55%

63.7%

60.5%

90.9%

20%

GeniePoint

58.4%

34.6%

55%

70.8%

70%

Charge Your Car

26.6%

34.4%

49.2%

67.2%

40%

And The winner is...

First place goes to the Tesla Supercharger network. Available exclusively to Tesla owners for now, this might seem to be of no use to non Tesla customers.

However, a tweet from founder Elon Musk says that Tesla’s Supercharger network will be open for other electric vehicles to use later this year. Great news!

Details are not yet confirmed, but with more than 600 chargers at more than 70 locations around the United Kingdom, this change could have a massive impact.

Instavolt is rated as the best charging network for non-Tesla owners. What Car? says the network provides impeccable reliability and is straightforward to use.

The Osprey network finished third and was also well regarded, scoring well across the board.

These networks should be a safe bet for drivers needing a quick charge on their travels.

Read the What Car? article for more details about the 12 networks rated.