UK chargepoint mapping service Zapmap has released its annual satisfaction rankings for lower-powered, ‘destination’ and ‘on-street’ public charging networks in the UK – with Mer coming in first place.
Now in its sixth year, the league table derives from Zapmap’s annual EV charging survey, conducted during October 2023. The survey, which Zapmap describes as 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 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.”