Having difficulty “searching” threads on the Forum, so hope this has not already been covered.
Thought it might be useful to compare experiences of Public Charging, mainly in the UK, for others to learn from, and compare different regions of UK. IMO there is now no shortage of Public Chargers, but many are now Rapids rather than Fast, and some are UNBELIEVABLY expensive to use. My region is South West England - mainly Wiltshire Dorset Somerset - + Hampshire
My No.1 GoTo is PodPoint at Tesco - yes, I got into the habit while it was free. 2500 miles of free driving. But they are the ONLY network, in partnership with Tesco, that let you charge immediately you plug in. Giving you time to confirm via their App. No RFID card available, but their App is reliable and very easy to use. I have also used their Rapids at Lidl, and some other Destinations that have PodPoint. And if I'm planning a journey “outside of my local patch” I search for PodPoint locations near my route. Topping up credit on my account is easy. They accept Apple Pay
On the rare occasions that I travel more than say 75 miles from home, I look for InstaVolt chargers. Frequently they are co-located with a McDonalds or Costa 75p per kWh I have RFID which I find easy than App or Contactless. I have a Pre-Paid account. They are reliable. Have only once seen a dead unit, and they are usually installed as pairs as a minimum.
Possibly not a network everyone has heard of, but there are several in Somerset. I have an RFID card which makes it easy to wake up the unit, and stop the charge. Rapids are more expensive than InstaVolt 79p v. 75p Because I have an account they bill me in arrears monthly
Wiltshire have recently replaced many dead Polar/bppulse units with MER. Also some in N Dorset Shaftesbury. Many are 22kWh units so just Fast although some new are Rapids. Because I have an account they too bill me in arrears monthly.
So the above are the only Networks I would use.
These are the ones I have tried, and/or avoid
Often co-located at Morrisons, they were usually out of action, or proved difficult to use. They have installed newer units, but I rarely see them in use. They are more expensive than InstaVolt. I gave up and cancelled my account long ago
While there were still some free to use old Polar posts at ASDA and around Wiltshire I use to exploit them. But their App is very slow to connect and start a charge, ans similiar slow to stop, disconnect. Given the resources that BP have they could do much better, but of course this not their core business. I once tried a Contactless connection on a Rapid, which then failed to charge. They took £30 immediately and it took several weeks to get refund. So I vowed never again.
Somerset Council have gone with these guys. Lots of units in Yeovil, others in Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury. Would be great if A. they weren’t so Expensive to use 55-59p kWh for Fast charging, plus they are in Car Parks, which increase cost. So yes, these lay idle despite being numerous.
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