Public charging points
If you need to charge your electric car, or plug-in hybrid, away from home, the first option is to use a public charging point. There are several companies in the UK that offer a network of charging points, either regionally or nationwide. Once you sign up to be a member, you get access to all their charging points.
It’s still early days in the development of these networks, so they vary in size, cost and the services they offer. However, most can offer slow, fast and rapid charging options, giving you the option to give your car a quick top up, or even a full charge if you’re likely to be parked for some time. Access to charging points is usually through an RFID card or a smartphone app, and via either a pay-as-you-go system or subscription scheme. There are a variety of online tools and apps to help you find a charging point within your chosen network.
In addition, some local authorities also offer public charging points, with government grant schemes funding them around the country. Check with your local council to find out where points are located near you.
Charging at work
Many electric car users charge their car at work and increasing numbers of employers are fitting charging points on their premises for staff to use. Often it can be used as a benefit to employees, as they can take advantage of free or cheap recharges. The government offers financial support too through the Workplace Charging Scheme, to businesses that want to install charging stations, which can reduce the cost by up to £300 per socket, up to a maximum of 20 sockets. There are also several regional grants and schemes around the country. Workplace chargers available tend to be similar in power and charging time to those found in homes.