UK Charging points – find your nearest on-street point
Explore the Zap-Map below for more information about the rapidly expanding UK charging points network and to find your nearest on-street charge point.
Access to public-access points usually requires the use of a particular connector which is usually issued on registration (refer to the notes for each point displayed).
Three types of charging point are currently used in the UK:
- 'Slow' points use a standard 13 Amp supply (6-8 hours for full charge);
- 'Fast' points use single or three-phase 32 Amps supply (3-4 hours); and
- 'Rapid' points provide direct current supply (typically 80% charge in 30 mins).
Click on the Zap-Map to begin your search...
Charge point overview
For most electric cars, It is expected that most charging will be performed at home, during (off-peak) night time hours when electricity is cheapest and it carbon intensity is lowest. Although a standard single-phase 13 amp three-pin domestic socket is adequate to charge a car in 6-8 hours, our advice is that a qualified electrician conducts a house survey to ensure that the wiring will safety support the relatively long periods of charging.
'Fast' charging at 32 amps using single- and three-phase supply is also possible for some electric vehicles, which reduces charging times to 3-4 hours for a standard EV. Faster still are 'rapid' chargers which use direct current (DC) – although these can only be used on some models.
The most common method of charging electric vehicles, uses a standard single-phase 13 Amp three-pin plug (BS 1363) and draws 3 kW of power – with a full charge typically taking 6 to 8 hours. The vast majority of publically accessible on-street chargers currently use this charger type, but more advanced alternatives are being developed (see below).
Nearly all electric models can be slow charged with each vehicles being supplied with a charging cable with the appropriate connectors – in this case with a standard three-pin plug or Blue Commando connector (IEC 60309) at the charging point end, and either a Commando unit or the more modern gun shaped SAE J1772 socket for connection to the vehicle.
Fast charging reduces charge times to around half that of a slow charge by at least doubling the current to around 32 amps (7 kW) – so that the time for a full charge is typically taking 3 to 4 hours. Most commercial and a many public on-street chargers already use this technology – however, it is very likely that this charge rate will become increasingly used across the UK.
While not all electric vehicles are able to accept a fast charge at 32 amps, most can be connected to them (with the right connector) and will draw either 13 or 32 amps depending on their capability. While Blue Commando plugs (IEC 60309) were the most common connector type used at the charger end, these are steadily being replaced by the more versatile 7-pin Mennekes plug (IEC 62196).
A limited network of High Power Chargers, known as HPC chargers, has been installed by Tesla. These use the SAE J1772 plug connection at both ends of the charger cable and supply a 70 Amp single-phase current with power at 16.8 kW.
Rapid chargers supply an electric vehicle directly with a direct current (DC) from a dedicated charging unit using a specialised plug socket (usually using the Japanese CHAdeMO standard). Often rated at around 50 kW (400 V DC/125 Amps), charging an electric vehicle to 80% typically takes less than half an hour. Due to their high cost only a few dozen rapid chargers are currently installed in the UK.
As with fast charging, not all electric vehicles can use a rapid charger. Unlike slow and fast chargers, the rapid units use dedicated CHAdeMO standard connectors that are required to carry the very high current. While the short charge times make this option very convenient, regular use of rapid charging can reduce battery life.
At least 50 rapid charge points are installed in the UK with many more planned for installation later this year.
Frequently asked questions
FAQ: What sort of domestic parking arrangements do you need to be able to recharge an electric vehicle?
You need access to some form of off-street parking so you can get a cable to your car. Trailing cables over the pavement is a no-no. So either a garage (with power) or a drive next to your house is definitely required. ONS Omnibus and English House Condition surveys suggest that around 80% of UK car-owning households already have access to a garage or other off-street parking facility (<50% urban, 70% sub-urban, and > 95% rural).
FAQ: I am planning a house extension including new Garage what power supply should I request the electrician to install?
Most battery electrics will accept a 13 or 16 Amp 'slow' supply that will charge a typical EV in 6-8 hours. In theory this could be using a standard three-pin plug. But the industry is getting a bit nervous about EVs being plugged into old sockets that haven't seen an electrician for a few decades and want to avoid any scenario which involves a garage burning down due to bad wiring.
So as a minimum, we'd suggest a modern 16 Amp socket with a circuit breaker that can deliver 3 kW power. However, if you want to future proof your garage for EVs, then install a single-phase 32 Amp, 7 kW unit which will allow 'fast' charging (taking typically 3-4 hours). But, note that not all new EVs can accept a fast charge. It's also worth remembering that, if you buy an EV, most come with a deal from a charge point supplier who will install a high quality socket for your car – typically at a cost of £500-£1000.
FAQ: Hot-swap battery packs seem an obvious recharge method. Are there any commercial projects looking into this?
Certainly are. The most famous of these is Project Better Place which has designed fully automated battery exchange stations. However, the obvious problem is standardisation – all cars of all makes would have to be designed to accept the same type of battery pack. So we think it's unlikely to happen this way for private cars. That said, it does make more sense for commercial fleets such as buses as has been readily demonstrated by the (less well known) fleet of electric buses which use a battery swap system in Beijing. Not as flash as the Better Place system, but its already in use and it works.
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