Zapmap has released its annual satisfaction rankings for lower-powered, ‘destination’ and ‘on-street’ public charging networks in the UK.
Now in its sixth year, the league table derives from Zapmap’s annual EV charging survey, conducted during October 2023. The survey, which is the most established and comprehensive survey of EV drivers in the UK, saw record responses from more than 4,000 electric car drivers.
This year, for the first time, Zapmap has produced two sets of network rankings, in order to better account for the difference in scale and operation between those predominantly focused on destination or on-street charging provision, and those which are mainly supporting the rollout of rapid or en-route charging. The rankings for en-route charging providers were announced last week.
For this year’s 2023-24 rankings, Zapmap is again awarding a ‘Best EV Charging Network’ accreditation to the top scorer, with the others in the top three also receiving an ‘EV Driver Recommended’ title. This year, Zapmap is also introducing a new ‘Up and Coming Network’ accreditation.
As part of the survey, respondents rated their overall satisfaction for the networks they use regularly, which is then used to rank each network out of a maximum of five stars. They also rated their level of satisfaction with the networks in five key areas: reliability, ease of use, customer support, value for money, and payment options.
In first place this year is destination charging network Mer, which scored highly for the reliability and ease of use of its charging network, and secures this year’s ‘Best EV Charging Network’ badge.
In joint-second are Connected Kerb and ubitricity, two networks focused on rolling out low-powered, on-street devices for overnight charging. The two networks earn ‘EV Driver Recommended’ titles for the 2023-24 rankings.
The league table below illustrates Zapmap users’ most popular destination and on-street public charging networks in the UK. These operators offer a mix of medium-powered chargers – for topping up at destinations such as supermarkets – and low-powered devices on residential streets, which provide an alternative to charging at home.
In order to be included in the league table, each network must have more than 100 charging devices – at least 80% of which must not be rapid or ultra-rapid devices. Moreover, each destination or on-street network was required to receive a minimum of 50 responses in the survey (fewer than the 100 responses required for the en-route league table).
This year Zapmap has also added a new ‘Up and Coming Network’ category, for those networks with not quite the requisite number of responses from EV drivers in the survey, but whose performance would have put them near the top of the table.
The ‘Up and Coming Network’ in this year’s destination and on-street rankings is RAW Charging, a network that already has over 75 charging locations and 215 devices across the UK, most of them 7-22 kW devices.
Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder & COO at Zapmap, said: “With the continued growth in the number of new electric vehicles registered this year comes an increasing number of electric car drivers who don’t have access to off-street parking. These drivers need a close-to-home solution that gives them a robust alternative to charging on a driveway.
“While less high profile than the en-route charging locations, drivers that use on-street and destination chargers often rely on them for their day-to-day charging. That’s why these annual network rankings are so important, because they provide a comprehensive illustration of what real drivers using the networks are thinking – and give new EV drivers a good idea of which networks are dependable.”
Jade Edwards, Head of Insights at Zapmap, said: “This year we’ve split our satisfaction rankings into two categories, not only to reflect the growing nature of the market, with greater specialisation and more players involved, but to better compare similar charging networks.
“These destination and on-street network rankings provide clarity on how the UK’s medium and low-powered charging infrastructure is developing, and this is particularly important given the greater proportion of new electric car drivers who are not able to charge at home.
“What’s more, our latest survey shows that the reliability and ease of use of the UK’s destination and on-street charging networks are two key determinants of the level of driver satisfaction across the country. These two aspects should be key priorities for all the UK’s public charging networks.”
Destination & on-street charging networks ranked 2023/24
1st – Mer – Star Rating 3.5
With around 1,300 devices at almost 670 locations in England and Wales, European network Mer has been expanding at pace in 2023. And while Mer scored highly across the board, reliability and ease of use were key to the operator’s position this time around, helping it to win the ‘Best EV Charging Network’ badge in this year’s destination and on-street satisfaction rankings.
Indeed, it would seem that Mer’s offering is going down well with electric car drivers across the country. Feedback highlighted Mer chargers as “Brilliant” and “very good,” with some drivers “Very impressed” by the operator. Others focused on the expansion of the network, highlighting “More and more [Mer] locations being rolled out by Dorset Council in their car parks.”
Elizabeth Warren, Interim Director of Public Charging at Mer UK, said: “We are thrilled to have come first in Zapmap’s CPO network rankings for destination and on street networks. Mer is working hard to build a reliable, future-fit public charging network to help keep UK drivers moving faster, cleaner, and better.”
“As we continue to build charging hubs across the country, we endeavour to continue to provide simple, sustainable charging solutions for both current and prospective drivers that make the transition to EV as seamless as possible.”
- Around 1,300 devices at almost 670 locations across England and Wales
- Network predominantly comprised of medium-powered destination chargers: over 1,100
- Accepts contactless and digital payments via cross-network solution Zap-Pay
Joint 2nd – Connected Kerb – Star Rating 3.5
Connected Kerb has almost 3,000 charging devices at 750 locations across the UK – and ambitious plans to install 190,000 on-street devices by 2030. Coming in joint-second place this time around, Connected Kerb has more than doubled the number of devices in its network since last year, predominantly installing reliable chargers in car parks and on residential streets.
The reliability and ease of use of Connected Kerb’s charging devices, as well as its customer support, were key to the network’s position this year, helping it to win an ‘EV Driver Recommended’ accreditation. Feedback focused on the reliability of Connected Kerb charge points, with respondents highlighting the network’s “Superb” chargers and grateful for its “simple tech.”
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: “Delivering a seamless charging experience that drivers love – that’s what we’re here to do, and our Zapmap ranking shows we’re getting that right.
“The EV transition needs to work for everyone, not just a few. This means putting inclusivity at the heart of our charging network, so no matter where you live, charging is reliable, accessible and convenient – and just works.
“Drivers having confidence in our network today means the world to us, but the work doesn’t stop here – there’s much more to come. Our team are continuing to install EV charging at pace and scale, to deliver a ubiquitous charging network that everyone can enjoy.”
- Almost 3,000 charging devices across 750 locations, predominantly on residential streets and in car parks
- Plans to install 190,000 on-street chargers by 2030
- Connected Kerb is a live Zap-Pay partner
Joint 2nd – ubitricity – Star Rating 3.5
In joint-second place this year is Shell-owned ubitricity. With almost 7,800 on-street charging devices in London and other cities across the UK, ubitricity is rapidly expanding its network, not least because the company is aiming to install 50,000 charging devices in the UK by 2025.
This year ubitricity came in joint-second for reliability, joint-third for ease of use, and first for value for money – helping the network to win an ‘EV Driver Recommended’ accreditation.
Feedback highlighted ubitricity’s “Easy to use” chargers as “Convenient and compact,” as well as “Affordable” and “Good value.” Although many drivers flagged that ubitricity bays are often “occupied by non-EV cars,” one described the network as “An essential part of my EV ownership…super convenient. Just wish there were more of them.”
Toby Butler, UK managing director of ubitricity said: “The whole ubitricity team are delighted to be named as one of the UK’s top three recommended charging networks.
“As the UK’s largest public charging network, we want EV charging to be an easy and seamless experience for our customers. In 2023, we are proud to have brought convenient EV charging to even more members of the public by adding over 2,500 new charge points to our network.
“We are looking forward to further expanding our network across the whole of the UK and to continue giving EV drivers a great charging experience.”
- Almost 7,800 on-street charging devices across England
- Charge points concentrated in London, but with growing presence in cities across England including Liverpool and Oxford
- Plans to install 50,000 charging devices in the UK by 2025
With the full 2023 EV charging survey available soon, you can register your interest for the free key findings report on the Zapmap website.
Zapmap Insights has also developed a range of products that enable the industry to understand charge point profiles as well as the patterns of utilisation across the UK’s public charging network, helping to support both benchmarking requirements and investment decisions.