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InstaVolt named UK's most popular EV charging network

InstaVolt has been ranked the most popular public EV charging network, with MFG EV Power and Osprey following close behind. Image: InstaVolt

InstaVolt has been ranked the most popular public EV charging network, with MFG EV Power and Osprey following close behind. Image: InstaVolt

InstaVolt has been ranked as the most popular public electric vehicle (EV) charging network, while legacy Electric Highway chargers have once again come in last place.

These are the findings of Zap-Map’s league table, which comes from the company’s annual survey of 3,000 EV drivers. Last year, InstaVolt came in second to Tesla, however Tesla was removed from this year’s rankings due to its network only being available to Tesla drivers.

As such, InstaVolt has taken the top spot, with drivers praising its reliability and ease of use. In particular, feedback highlighted the pay-as-you-go access provided through contactless payment. The charging network also improved in terms of cost, climbing from eighth place last year to sixth- although the survey was conducted before the recent price hike in response to high wholesale energy costs.

InstaVolt also improved its facilities score, climbing from seventh to third place, likely due to its partnerships with KFC, McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Starbucks.

Following behind InstaVolt was MFG EV Power and Osprey, taking second and third place respectively. MFG EV Power – a new entrant to the EV charging space – was also praised for its reliability and ease of use, with payment options including contactless and the MFG EV Power app.

However, despite being slightly cheaper than both InstaVolt and Osprey, at 39p/kWh, MFG EV Power came in behind them for cost.

Osprey, meanwhile, maintained its position of third from last year, with similar positive feedback as both MFG EV Power and InstaVolt.

“EV drivers are clear about the factors that make for a good charging experience, namely reliability and ease of use – and these should be key priorities for the UK’s public charging networks,” Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder & COO at Zap-Map, said.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the legacy Electric Highway chargers not yet replaced by GRIDSERVE came in last place (18th). The Electric Highway was also ranked last in 2020, prior to it being bought by GRIDSERVE from Ecotricity.

The company has been replacing all of the legacy Electric Highway chargers since March, with 75% of these works now completed and chargers for the remaining 25% ready and awaiting approval to be installed.

The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway - the name for all of GRIDSERVE's EV charging brands including Electric Forecourts, Electric Hubs and the Electric Highway - came in joint fifth in the ranking when the legacy chargers were removed, and first for facilities.

In second to last place was Charge Your Car, which is owned by bp pulse- which itself came in 16th. Feedback for Charge Your Car highlighted poor reliability, with chargers often being out of service, slow maintenance response and patchy customer service.

Feedback for bp pulse also focused on reliability and ease of use, with the charging network coming in the bottom three and bottom four respectively. Survey respondents also commented that units are starting to become unreliable, and noted price rises and poor customer service.

In March, bp pulse announced it had made £2 million available for what it described as “radical improvement” in the reliability of older UK EV charging infrastructure, having agreed £400,000 in infrastructure investment to replace more than 50 legacy chargepoints.

The company has been contacted by Current± for comment.

The full ranking of public EV chargers is as follows:

1. InstaVolt

2. MFG EV Power

3. Osprey

4. Pod Point

5. Joint between GRIDSERVE Electric Highway and Shell Recharge

7. Joint between NewMotion and IONITY

9. Ubitricity

10. Swarco e.connect

11. GeniePoint (including ENGIE points)

12. ESB Energy

13. ChargePlace Scotland

14. Source London

15. EV Charge Online

16. bp pulse

17. Charge Your Car

18. Ecotricity Electric Highway (legacy)

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