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Ecotricity ranked UK’s worst EV charging network while Tesla comes out on top

Image: Ecotricity.

Image: Ecotricity.

Zap-Map has released its annual electric vehicle (EV) charging network satisfaction ranking, with Tesla holding onto the top spot.

The ranking - which comes from a survey of 1,500 Zap-Map users - shunts Ecotricity’s Electric Highway into last place, with common complaints including that the chargers are old, poorly maintained and frequently out of service. The amenities surrounding most Electric Highway chargers, however, were praised, with the chargers often being located at motorway service stations.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, defended the Electric Highway user experience, stating that as the survey comes from “a very small group” of EV drivers, it isn’t “representative of real world experience”.

He added that the Electric Highway is the country’s most used charging network, and as such when problems occur with the chargers “they are felt more acutely”.

"The industry is just coming out of the early adopter phase of the EV market and charging technology has matured alongside cars, and the new pumps we’re all installing are a step change in the right direction."

Tesla, conversely, was praised for its “seamless” charging experience, with no need for payment cards, as well as payment being automatic and there being free charging for many early adopters. Tesla also came in first place of all other categories mention, except for price, where it came second to ChargePlace Scotland.

Second place in the ranking was Instavolt, its third year in the spot thanks to its reliability and contactless payment, according to the Zap-Map survey.

Osprey took third place in the ranking, jumping up five spots compared to last year. It was also praised for its contactless payment and reliability, as well as its good visible locations.

In comparison, Source London - the third lowest ranked - was criticised for its pricing, which is charged on a per minute basis over per kWh and often includes the price of parking. Charge Your Car, meanwhile, was put into second to last place and was criticised for poor reliability, slow maintenance response and patchy customer service.

The full ranking is as follows:

  1. Tesla
  2. Instavolt
  3. Osprey
  4. Pod Point
  5. Swarco E.connect
  6. Shell Recharge
  7. ESB EV Solutions
  8. NewMotion
  9. ChargePlace Scotland
  10. Joint between Engie and IONITY
  11. GeniePoint
  12. BP Pulse
  13. Source London
  14. Charge Your Car
  15. Electric Highway

Dr Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map, said that the ranking highlights which networks “urgently need to improve” but that it should “focus the minds of all EV charging providers”.

“Poor-performing networks will need to take a long, hard look at the quality of the services they offer if they want to retain their customers as the EV market grows apace.”

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