Charging In Public
On occasions you may need to use public charge points in order to charge your car. This may be for en-route charging at a motorway service station or it could be at your end destination, such as a hotel, shopping centre or sports venue.
With over 29,000 publicly accessible charge points in the UK, you’ll never be too far from somewhere to top up your battery.
There are several different charging networks across the UK which offer a mix of AC and DC charging. AC charging is most associated to long dwell time locations so you will typically find these charge points situated at hotels or leisure venues. DC charging refers to rapid charging and these chargers are designed to top your battery up quickly and located at short dwell time venues, such as supermarkets or motorway services.
AC charge points are typically un-tethered so this means they won’t have the charging cable attached, so it’s essential you carry the correct Mode 3 public charging cable in your car. DC chargers are tethered so they will always have the charging cable attached to the charging unit.
Each public charging network differs in their approach to accessibility and cost for charging. Some networks offer pay-as-you-go, so you just require a debit or credit card to activate the charging session. Other networks require a subscription in order to access the charge points and activate the charging session.
In turn, you may require specific apps or charging cards to access some charge points, although many DC rapid chargers are fast becoming pay-as-you-go to support ease of use.
It’s highly recommended to plan ahead for those longer journeys away from home to ensure you know which charging network providers operate the charge points you intend to use and so you have the correct apps or access cards prior to leaving.
In order to understand more about the various public charging networks across the UK and to locate charge points on your regular routes, we recommend visiting our public charging map here.