Bonnet is an app that aims to simplify the EV charging experience for drivers in the UK. In an ideal world, an app like this should not exist with all chargers being reliable and supporting contactless payments with transparent pricing. The truth is that chargers' reliability and availability continue to be a concern for non-tesla drivers. I recently found myself in a situation where many CCS devices near me had problems forcing me to take a more extended trip to a Tesla Supercharger on my Model Y.
On their website, Bonnet claims that they provide 4X more information about chargers than Zap-Map and even the official apps from the chargers themselves. The richness of information is possible thanks to a combination of data from the hardware, app, and community via comments and image uploads.
The app is relatively easy to use on both Android and iPhone. You could navigate to one of the chargers shown on the list, choose the charger and press "Start Charge", as shown in the video.
As a Tesla owner, I'm aware that the need for an app is a fuss which I'm sure Bonnet is already aware of since there is a disabled setting called "My Car" on the app.
Bonnet has a range of operators, including my favourite, Osprey.
I frequently use a Shell Recharge station close to me. GeniePoint was added recently to the mix, and that would be awesome if they could add Pod Point and Instavolt as partners. Electric Juice by Octopus Energy supports more operators being a billing provider.
The cost of rapid public charging, like fuel prices, increases with prices anywhere from 23p per kWh (Tesla Supercharger at Heathrow) to 69p per kWh at Ionity. Most other rapid chargers cost around 49p per kWh for 50 kW charging, including the Shell Recharge station that I use.
With Bonnet, pay-as-you-go, it costs only 35p/kWh on any charger and network, including the 150kW chargers! Bonnet Refills are monthly subscriptions that start from £15 with a 50 kWh allowance and an additional charge at 30p/kWh. The top refill that I currently use is a 200kWh refill that costs £50 per month. With a Model Y efficiency of over 3.4 miles per kWh (during typical weather), this refill could cover 680 miles of range. With a conservative estimate of 650 miles, a per-mile journey costs 13p with my SUV with no tailpipe emissions!
Like many, I do not have the luxury of switching to an EV tariff. With 25p per kWh, rapid charging is even cheaper than my home charging at 39 p per kWh.
Bonnet thus brings in some stability and even affordability to rapid public charging for EV owners, including fleet owners.
Bonnet regularly distributes codes that offer freebies, being a young startup. Following are some of the codes working at the time of this blog.
|1||RVQ78||£15 off next Refill payment from Track EV|
|2||FIRSTCHARGE2||First charge for free|
|3||FREECHARGE1||100% off for the next charge|
|4||EVABNT||100% off for the next refill|
You could add all of the codes for maximum benefits.
Bonnet has ambitious plans to expand into Sweden, France and Southern Europe to help the world to transition to sustainable transport. With more users and partners, the app and the experience could only get better over time and therefore is a must-have app for EV owners. Whether the app would attract more Tesla owners remains to be seen.