If you've recently starting driving an electric vehicle (EV) then you might be wondering how to find your nearest EV charging station.
Fortunately there are a few simple ways to do this.
My first tip is to download the Zap-Map app.
This app is super popular with EV drivers in the UK because it quickly and easily enables you to locate and navigate to more than 30,000 public EV charging points across the country. That's around 95% of the UK's public charging points.
As well as being able to search for nearby EV chargers, Zap-Map also gives you detailed info on each charging point. This includes each point's charging speed, cost and current availability - which is updated every 5 minutes.
I also find the Zap-Chat community section really helpful, as drivers give their personal (and often brutal!) experience of charging. Here you'll find comments on best times to charge, reliability of the chargers and how much parking costs are, etc.
Pod Point is a particularly good app to have on your phone, as it will hook you up with their 6,000+ EV charging points - including lots of free chargers installed in convenient places like Tesco superstores.
For more information on finding free EV charging points, see our guide How and Where to Get Free EV Charging.
While free charging is certainly welcome, sometimes it's not as fast as you might like or need. For example, if you're on a long journey and want to stop half way to charge your car, then it's much better to go for a rapid charger that can take your vehicle from say 20% to 80% charge in under an hour (depending on which EV you drive).
To get this speed you need to use a rapid or ultra-rapid charger. The former are typically 50kW chargers, while the latter offer speeds from 100kW to 350kW. Of course, not many EVs have the ability to charge at ultra-rapid rates, so make sure you don't pay for something you can't benefit from.
Gridserve's EV charging network covers an impressive 85% of the UK’s motorway network. They don't have an app, but you can search for their chargers via their webpage.
One of my favourite premium EV charging networks is InstaVolt. They regularly top driver surveys for ease of use and reliability. They're a little more expensive than some other charging networks, but in this case, you really do get what you pay for.
InstaVolt has a great app that allows use to easily search for your nearest EV charging point. And once selected, you can click through to find out more information including the point's availability, price and even what amenities are close by.
Thankfully the UK's EV charging network is growing rapidly, so it's getting much easier to find EV charging stations.
Just use some of the apps listed above, and you'll quickly be able find your nearest EV charging point - wherever you may be on your travels.