While many EV drivers opt for charging at home or even charging at work, public networks also provide invaluable charging support, plus the opportunity to extend journey distances. Most networks offer a mix of slow, fast, and rapid charging options.
The table below provides an overview of the UK’s main EV charging networks with links to in-depth network guides. Each guide provides details of the network operator, any cross-network agreements, the network’s charger locations and access methods, and any fees that may apply.
The table splits the networks into three categories: Rapid, Destination, and On-street & Community networks. Zap-Map defines a Rapid network as any network that comprises only rapid charging devices or has at least 50 rapid or ultra-rapid devices.
Zap-Pay partner networks are indicated with an icon on their respective logos. These networks are signed up with Zap-Pay-enabled public EV charge points. This allows Zap-Map users to search, plan and pay for a charge point through the app.
Networks with live data updates on Zap-Map are indicated with an icon on their respective logos. Updated every five minutes, live data shows a blue marker around charge point icons when it is in use.
Here are some UK’s popular Charging networks.
ESB Energy offers a public network of rapid EV charge points in London and Coventry as well as charge points for taxi drivers. All ESB Energy charge points are Zap-Pay enabled and there are also membership, contactless, and ESB app options available.
GeniePoint runs a national network, primarily operating rapid EV charge points, though with some fast units available at certain locations. All GeniePoint charge points are Zap-Pay enabled, or can also be accessed with an app or RFID card on a pay-as-you-go basis. GeniePoint is part of the Zap-Pay partner network, as well as the Zap-Map, a live data network.
Osprey has a UK-wide network of rapid chargers which support all EVs available on the market. Formerly known as Engine, as Zap-Map’s launch partner for Zap-Pay all Osprey charge points are Zap-Pay enabled, in addition to offering payment via contactless credit or debit cards or the Osprey app.
Zap-Pay coming soon: MFG EV Power operates a network of rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices at service stations across the UK. There is no subscription or connection charge to use MFG devices. Drivers can pay for charging using contactless payment or through the MFG app, and will soon be able to pay using Zap-Pay once the network comes online.
bp pulse, formerly known as Polar, is one of the UK’s largest public charging networks, with charge points ranging from three-pin units to rapid chargers available. Access is via smartphone app or RFID card, and there is both a pay-as-you-go or a subscription membership available. bp pulse is part of the Zap-Map live data network.
Backed by Transport Scotland, the ChargePlace Scotland network provides hundreds of EV charging points across the country. Users can access the points using a ChargePlace Scotland RFID card or online.
The ChargerNet network covers south Dorset, with both fast and rapid chargers are available for drivers to use. A Charge Your Car RFID card or smartphone app provides access, with rapid chargers available on a pay-per-use basis.
Charge Your Car is one of the largest public charging networks in the UK, with 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.
The Electric Highway public charging network covers the UK’s motorway network, with points at service stations across Britain. It is owned and operated by GRIDSERVE, which has been upgrading all existing Electric Highway charging devices and is also installing new Electric Highway locations. The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway is part of the Zap-Map live data network.
InstaVolt operates a rapid charging network – with CCS and CHAdeMO connectors available – on a pay-as-you-go basis. There is no subscription, membership, RFID card, or app required. Instead, all of its rapid chargers accept contactless payment from a credit or debit card.
Swarco’s E.Connect network is rapidly growing, having an established base in Europe and a number of partnerships already in the UK. As a charge point manufacturer, the company is now rolling out its own network across the country.
Rapid-only network Fastned specializes in charging hubs and provides a range of different rapid charger speeds to EV drivers in one location. Access is via the app, RFID card, or in the future, via vehicle-to-charger communication using Fastned’s Auto charge feature.
Ionity is a pan-European ultra-rapid charging network, that installs multiple 350 kW CCS units at locations along the main routes in the UK and the continent. Access is via app, QR code reader or RFID card.
With an expansive network, Pod Point aims to offer an EV charge point ‘everywhere you park’. With wide-spread coverage of fast chargers, Pod Point also provides rapid points for the likes of Tesco and Lidl. Units are accessed via the network’s smartphone or web app and are often free to use.
Shell Recharge is a rapid charging network, with points located at the company’s petrol station forecourts. No membership charges or RFID cards are needed, with access via the Shell Recharge app for rapid units, which offer CCS, CHAdeMO, or Type 2 charging.
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Tesla 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 is needed.