David runs a Tesla Model 3 electric car, comments on public charging.
What do you think of the UK public charging network in general?
Tesla superchargers are still the benchmark, easy to use, fast and 99% reliable. Fortunately, we are now seeing others becoming almost as easy to use (cashless credit card) and more reliable. I now plan journeys using Instavolt, Gridserve, Shell, Osprey and Mer, all of which take credit cards and are 90% reliable.
bp pulse has a lot of chargers with great locations; however, they still need a lot of work by bp. They are fine to use if you want to top up but remember there is a 50/50 chance they will work. You must have their app and understand how to use it as it is not intuitive and unlikely to get help if you call them.
What and where are your favourite UK public chargers?
Tesla Superchargers, Instavolt, Gridserve, Shell, Osprey and Mer.
What’s been your best experience with a UK public charger?
Tesla – M3 Northbound Fleet Services, Hants. Several chargers are available, plug-in and walk away. Charge time was just sufficiently long enough to use the restrooms and get a coffee. On return, there was a Tesla engineer who happily chatted and asked if we had any issues we would like him to look at before we left. Regardless of EV, I have found most owners to be friendly and helpful.
What’s been your worst experience with a UK public charger?
Arriving with only 10% energy left to find bp pulse charger didn’t work and no one from customer service answered the phone. Managed to get to another charger, just glad I didn’t have to use the breakdown service to get a tow to a working charger.
What’s got to change about public charging in the UK to get more people driving electric cars?
1. Overnight street charging points for people who cannot charge at home
2. 5% VAT on 7kW chargers
3. All chargers to take credit cards
4. Sanctions where a company is unable to achieve 90% reliability for en route chargers. If you plan a journey and you need to charge as part of your journey, the chargers must work.
5. Extra charge per minute once car has stopped charging on a DC charger
6. If an ICE vehicle is blocking an EV charge bay they are subject to a fine
7. Understand with AC chargers, cars will be left for several hours, if not overnight.
*library image used.