The Tesla Supercharger network is deemed the benchmark for the overall charging experience, which includes factors such as:
- Location and reliability
- Number of chargers and availability
- Ease of use
- Pricing (including charging losses)
We see more charging operators matching and even beating the supercharging experience using various techniques.
Many rapid chargers found in the UK could technically support dual charging. Take EV Box Troniq 50 found at GeniePoint locations or the Efacec QC 45 found at Allego (Shell Recharge). These charging hardware could support simultaneous DC and AC charging; however, due to parking spaces' poor design, only one car could realistically use the charger.
We see the same design flaws at motorway services such as GRIDSERVE and even at restaurant locations from Osprey charging.
In April, we saw operators suddenly waking up to design their locations with dual charging. The same Tritium RTM 75 chargers at Haddington Retail Park supports dual charging.
Throttling is usually a concern when it comes to dual-charging capability. However, the good news is that the Nissan Leaf, the major user of CHAdeMO, maxes out at 50 kW, so a modern car using CCS should get the full 75 kW from these chargers.
By supporting both CHAdeMO and CCS standards such operators are inclusive supporting a range of EVs.
On the other hand, Tesla Superchargers is quite exclusive, which isn't ideal.
GRIDSERVE has also started updating the software on its chargers to enable dual charging.
Tesla Superchargers have gone up in price costing over 46p per kWh now. If time is not a concern, Osprey Charging costs 40p per kWh for 50 or 75 kW chargers. It is possible to reduce this price to 25p per kWh with a Bonnet subscription. Further, Tritium RTM 75 chargers used by Osprey use liquid cooling to reduce charging losses and improve efficiency and rate.
GRIDSERVE has bumped up the game with the new Electric Forecourt at Norwich, full of amenities.
However, as per the latest Zap-Map survey, supermarkets have overtaken Motorway services as the preferred public charging location.
Pod-Point, commonly found at Tesco, appear to be winning here thanks to their affordable pricing of 28p per kWh for 50 kW charging. Many Pod-Point chargers are also free at many locations and are quite popular. We could find osprey Charging at restaurants, and shopping malls, making them more ideal than Tesla Superchargers.
InstaVolt, with a strong partnership with Mcdonalds', is also a winner in this category.
With dual charging capability and better pricing and amenities charging an EV is no longer a time consuming and stressful activity.
But what about reliability and ease of use?
The reliability among the Top 5 charging networks is top-notch and is never a concern for EV owners. However, the bottom 13, beginning with Shell Recharge and GeniePoint especially, has been unreliable in recent months. On a recent road trip to Norwich, we found every GeniePoint charger faulty, and even their Managing Director has acknowledged it.
With the ease of use, while GRIDSERVE and Osprey support contactless payments, only Fastned has started offering the plug & charge experience that Tesla owners are used to enjoying. With Ionity soon to join Fastned in providing this capability, the life of EV owners in the UK will only improve completely, making charger anxiety a thing of the past.