Fastned and Motor Fuel Group (MFG) EV Power have been announced as the joint highest ranked EV charging networks in the UK, according to a Zap-Map survey.
The chargepoint mapping service conducted a survey in which 4,300 EV drivers specified which charging network they believe is the best. This has been released as part of the annual public charging network satisfaction rankings.
Respondents rated their overall satisfaction for the networks they use regularly, which was then used to rank each network out of a maximum of five stars.
The respondents also rated their level of satisfaction with the networks in five key areas including reliability, ease of use, customer support, value for money and payment options.
Taking the top spot in joint first place are two ultra-rapid networks in Fastned and MFG EV Power, who each scored 4.0 in the overall ratings. Zap-Map said the two networks scored particularly high for reliability and ease of use.
A recent survey led by Paythru indicated that 80% of UK drivers may be deterred from driving an EV due to poor experience at the chargepoint. One of the primary issues with the poor charging experience comes with difficulties in finding an EV chargepoint when it is required.
With Fastned and MFG EV Power both scoring highly due to ease of use, it is clear this is becoming a prominent area for EV charging networks to explore to increase customers. As well as this, increasing the ease of use at EV changepoints could additionally increase the adoption of EVs.
“Already this year we’ve seen huge change across the industry, from strong EV sales through to high growth in ultra-rapid infrastructure, and of course significant price fluctuations at the charge point due to rising energy costs,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and chief operating officer at Zap-Map.
As alluded to by Shufflebottom, the price of public charging has fluctuated as a result of the energy crisis and high wholesale gas prices. According to the data released by RAC Charge Watch, the cost of charging an EV at a public charger has increased by 42%, from around 45p/kWh in May to an average of 63.29p/kWh. This has been a result of the ongoing energy crisis impacting the UK’s economy due to high wholesale gas and electricity prices.
“Despite this, it’s clear that factors such as reliability and ease of use continue to be the most important in contributing to a good charging experience. These should be top priorities across all the UK’s public charging networks,” added Shufflebotham.
“However, the Zap-Map survey shows that while many networks provide a dependable, easy-to-use service, others have room for improvement. As EVs increasingly enter the mainstream, it’s crucial that collectively we make public charging as simple and reliable as possible.”
Rounding off the top five EV companies are Instavolt, who came in third with an overall rating of 3.9, and Connected Kerb and Osprey Charging, who both finished joint-fourth with an overall rating of 3.7.
The EV market continues to go from strength to strength with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) having indicated that battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations increased by 23.4% to 19,933 in October 2022 in comparison to last year. Alongside this, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) by 6.2% to 8,899.
However, despite the UK government establishing a 300,000 chargepoint target by 2030, recent analysis indicates this will be unattainable at current rates.
At the start of October 2022, the UK had 34,637 public standard, rapid and ultra-rapid EV charging devices, with 1,239 new rapid chargers and 5,023 new standard chargers installed during the first nine months of the year.