Nissan LEAF, Ian Crowder – Living with an EV: Public charging

Nissan Leaf, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Public charging

What name would you like to appear in your article? 
Ian Crowder


What is the make, model and year of your EV?
Nissan LEAF 62kWh 2021


What do you think of the UK public charging network in general?
If it worked efficiently it would be excellent although the number of EVs is growing faster than charging capacity. Increasingly at busy locations, there are insufficient connectors for demand and reliability is becoming noticeably worse. The range of apps, RFID cards and dongles needed is irritating especially if you get to a charger network for which you have to download an app, load up the account with cash before being able to charge.


In Europe there are aggregators that give access to the bulk of providers, we need the same here (full marks to Zap-Map for starting down this road). The AA should surely be an obvious candidate for acting as an aggregator and use the AA membership card or app to access chargers?


Nissan Leaf, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Public charging


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What and where are your favourite UK public chargers?
Instavolt is in my view the most reliable and easiest to use. When bp pulse was Chargemaster Polar it was my favourite but the reliability has seriously gone South. Recently travelled from Lincolnshire back to Gloucestershire and six out of seven chargers were out of use, five of them were bp pulse. Very disappointing. The one that was OK was a GeniePoint which is a network that in my experience is reliable. Also found Mer and Pod Point to be reliable, generally.


What’s been your best experience with a UK public charger?
Without a doubt any Instavolt charger.


Nissan Leaf, Ian Crowder - Living with an EV: Public charging


What’s been your worst experience with a UK public charger?
As mentioned earlier, bp pulse has been very disappointing. The former Electric Highway (Ecotricity) has been absolutely dreadful, hopefully, Gridserve will improve things. In fairness, Electric Highway was one of the earliest national networks and used to be completely reliable.


What’s got to change about public charging in the UK to get more people driving EVs?

  • Increasing the number of chargers of every type (slow, fast, ultrafast)
  • More widespread ’lamp post‘ chargers in urban areas
  • Greater reliability
  • Making it much simpler to start a charge
  • Greater simplicity overall i.e. simple use of a debit card or aggregator card.


See other public charging reports here


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