IN the absence of a set of standards, electric vehicle charging is turning out to be somewhat hit and miss. Recent press reports tell of drivers stranded as charging points are either offline or simply lacking the juice to top up the latest systems.
A growing number of EV users are turning to Zap-Map, a charging point map helping drivers locate available charge points, plan longer journeys, share updates and pay for charging on participating networks.
The expanding user base is giving Zap-Map feedback through annual surveys and each January it releases its findings. This year it ranked 16 networks on five key areas: charging at home; charging at the workplace; use of the public network; users with a disability; and use of EV charging apps.
In a 20-minute online survey respondents were asked which networks they used regularly, and then to rank their levels of satisfaction on a 5-point scale. An invitation to provide an overall ranking was followed by similar questions on reliability, ease of use, cost and facilities.
The results, based on a sample of more than 1,500 Zap-Map users, show that Tesla retains its top spot as the country’s highest rated EV charging provider. In second place overall, and the top place for multi-brand networks, is InstaVolt, retaining its second place for the third year running. In third place is Osprey (formerly Engenie) which scores highly for its reliability and ease of use.
Dr Ben Lane, Co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map, said the network rankings should focus the minds of all EV charging providers. “As the survey demonstrates, EV drivers are very clear about the factors that make for a good charging experience, with reliability and ease of use being key priorities.
“A new generation of drivers want to arrive at a charge point and be confident that it will be simple to use and a trouble-free experience. They are quick to pick up that different networks offer varying levels of service, and will actively visit networks that provide a reliable and easy-to-use experience.”
Launched in June 2014 with a mission to accelerate the shift to electric EVs, Zap-Map has mapped more than 20,000 charge point devices in the UK at 13,200 locations. This is an estimated 98% of all public chargers, of which 70% receive live availability status updates every five minutes direct from the network.
The service is attracting more than 120,000 users per month from a rapidly growing fleet of around 180,000 pure-EVs and 220,000 plug-in hybrids. Zap-Map can be accessed via a desktop map, using the iOS/android mobile app or via Google Assistant.
Download the free Zap-Map app from: https://www.zap-map.com/app/
To view Zap-Map on desktop and mobile web, visit: https://www.zap-map.com/live.