What Charge Point Providers do you use?
Posted on 19th July 2019 - by EVision - The Latest EV News
Congratulations, you’ve purchased or hired an electric car, which is a significant step in the right direction for our environment, but now you’re wondering how to charge your car... right? We all remember the first time we had to work out how to use the pumps at petrol stations to fill up, and it was a pretty daunting feeling. When it comes to charging your electric car for the first time, this is pretty much the same sort of feeling and experience, so you aren’t the only one! Every car differs depending on where the charging compartment is, and how you access it. We are here to guide you through all of our EVision cars, as well as educating you on some of the different charge point providers, that you may or may not already be familiar with.
Charge Point Providers
Polar are one of the main charge point providers, owned By BP Chargermasters. Polar offer different charging services and prices, depending on the package you are using. The majority of Polar charge points are free to use in order to charge your electric cars, but users will have to pay £1.20 for a connection fee, if they are not signed up to the subscription service.
If you choose to use Polar Instant, you will not need to sign up to receive an RFID charge card in order to charge your electric cars. You can download their free pay-as-you-go app, then find the nearest Polar charge point and connect your car. You will need to load a minimum of £20 credit onto the app before you begin.
Polar Plus is another option if you choose to use this particular provider. Polar are giving customers three free months worth of charging, when you sign up to their subscription service. For just £7.85 per month afterwards, users will have access to over 7,000 charge points across the UK, which can be easily accessed using the card, or a key fob, or the app.
In recent news, Polar has announced that they are equipping all new Polar 50kW and 150kW fast chargers with contactless payment, to benefit one-off users. Polar will also be refitting all 50kW units with the same contactless technology in the coming 12 months. Making Polar charge points as easily accessible as possible should hopefully encourage users to try out electric cars, and feel more comfortable charging their EVs in public.
The charges for using Polar are as follows:
Tariff (per kWh
43kW AC / DC Charger
150kW DC Charger
Pod Point are another popular charge point provider that you will tend to see and hear about in public places. Most shopping centres and local attractions will have at least one Pod Point charger. To use Pod Point chargers you will need to use the app, so you won’t have to worry about having a card or a key fob. When you find a Pod Point charge point, if you plug in your electric car it will begin to charge immediately, users will then need to go into the app and find the specific charge point and confirm the charge. It will stop charging your vehicle after 15 minutes if you do not confirm your charge, this is perfect for anyone that doesn’t have the app, and needs a quick 15 minutes of charge, or areas that have poor mobile phone reception, or internet access.
There are over 1,000 Pod Point charging points, and 1,800 connectors, so you can benefit from free charging wherever you are. All points include AC/DC and Type 1 & 2 chargers, so it isn’t limiting any electric cars.To use Pod Point chargers you will need to use the app, so you won’t have to worry about having a card or a key fob. When you find a Pod Point charge point, if you plug in your electric car it will begin to charge immediately, users will then need to go into the app and find the specific charge point and confirm the charge. It will stop charging your vehicle after 15 minutes if you do not confirm your charge, this is perfect for anyone that doesn’t have the app, and needs a quick 15 minutes of charge, or areas that have poor mobile phone reception, or internet access.Pod Point are another popular charge point provider that you will tend to see and hear about in public places. Most shopping centres and local attractions will have at least one Pod Point charger.
Ecotricity have over 300 charge points and 680 connectors, known to Zap-Map. Their charge points are commonly found at service stations as they cover the UK’s motorways. Ecotricity offer the Fully Charged Bundle for EV users, this is a package deal for green electricity for your home and an EV tariff. It could save you over £270 in the first year, if you choose to swap to this. Ecotricity use your subscription money to pay for new resources and projects to help the UK to become greener and fuel efficient, just in case you wondered how green they really were!
For anyone that is just looking to use the Ecotricity charge points, you will need to download the Electric Highway app to be able to charge your EV, but you do have the choice to either sign in as a guest user or make an Eco ID.
The cost of using any Ecotricity charge point will cost you 30p per unit of electricity you use, or 15p if you are an Ecotricity energy customer.
One thing to be aware of though is that Ecotricity will take a £15.00 hold on your bank account. This is just whilst they sort out how much electricity you have actually used. We know it’s an inconvenience but they do take off the hold and the money appears in your bank account again after a few days, when you’ll then see the actual amount you’ve used debited from your bank account. Bear this in mind though if you use Ecotricity several times over the course of a few days, it will hold that £15.00 each time you charge your electric cars with them, meaning there could easily be a hold of more than £100.00 on your bank account!
Now that EVs are becoming more mainstream, it is definitely important to highlight the growth of charging points. According to Zap-Map, in 2014 there were a total of 8,026 connectors around the UK, consisting of slow, fast and rapid chargers. In 2018, that figure rose to 19,118, more than double the amount.
The number of accessible charge points is growing everyday, and the chance of not being able to find a charge point close by is very slim. People often worry about range anxiety and running out of charge without being able to find an available charge point. Well long gone are those days now. Looking in particular at statistics on Zap-Map, as of 15th July 2019, there are 24,480 connectors, in 9,038 different locations, and 482 new devices have been added in the last 30 days, which is a staggering amount!
Zap-Map is a great app that every EV driver should have on their phone. You have the option to use the online live route planner, that will update if a charge point is unavailable, or is undergoing maintenance, so you are in the know wherever you go. It will display how many charge points and connectors are available, plus any charges that may apply for using it. Zap-Map also provides an estimated Public Charging Calculator, that will allow you to input your EV model and give you a rough pricing guide, for a full or partially charged car, obviously depending on what type of connector you use.
We have recently filmed a video to assist you with using and navigating through Zap-Map, and how to plug in your car.
How to charge EVision's electric cars
Here at EVision Electric Car Hire, we have a range of pure electric cars available to hire. All EVs may be accessed slightly differently when it comes to plugging in, so we thought we should prepare you if you decide to hire any of our electric cars. So if you’re looking at a Tesla rental or an Audi e-tron rental, the next question you may ask is about the specific chargers for electric cars, we have you covered. We have also written a blog post about different chargers and what they mean.
We have a range of Teslas available on our fleet to hire, which include the Tesla Model S & X, and the Tesla Model 3 (Standard and Long Range). The charging compartment on all the Teslas are more or less the same, as there are five different ways to opening the charging port:
- From the on screen controls within the car you can push ‘open charging port’
- Using the app Pressing the charge port door
- Pressing and holding down the boot button on the rear of the key fob
- When you connect up the Tesla charger, there is a small button that can be pushed to open the charging port
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to opening up the charging compartment, on your Tesla rental.
The Audi e-tron is a very compatible car in terms of the charging compartments. This particular car has a charging compartment on either side of the car, which defeats the limitations of trying to reach a charging cable to one side of the car, or trying to park on the correct side of the charging point. To open the charging compartment, press the button located next to the e-tron branding, and the port will automatically open for you to plug in your charger. We have highlighted the charging compartments in our latest YouTube video, if you do get stuck!
A new arrival to EVision this year, brought us the Kia e-Niro. The charging port on this car can be found on the front of the EV, just below the headlight. It can be accessed by pressing the right hand of the compartment, and it will pop open. The charging section is fitted with a light to assist you in the dark winter nights, or on a late night drive home. By removing the covers you are able to easily plug in your Kia e-Niro to replenish the battery. For further assistance, view our Kia e-Niro features video.
At EVision, we have three different types of BMWs to hire, the 2018 BMW i3 94Ah, the 2019 BMW i3 120Ah, and the BMW i3 REX (Range Extender). All of our BMW charging compartments are opened up and accessed the same way. The charging ports can be located towards the back of the car on the drivers side, above the rear wheel arch. By applying pressure to the left side of the charging door, it will open up and you can then remove the charger cover, and plug your charging cable in.
The Renault ZOE is one of our smaller and compact cars, but comes with great range for anyone looking for an everyday car, and making the odd motorway trip. You can find the charging port situated behind the Renault logo on the front of the car. To open this, you can either use the key card and press the plug button, or inside the car is a switch on the right hand side of the steering wheel.
The Jaguar I-Pace uses a CSS charging standard, consisting of an AC/DC port. The charging port for the car can be found on the passenger side, above the wheel arch at the front. To open the charging compartment press the right hand side, and you can then plug in your charging cable.
If you have hired any electric cars from EVision, and on the off chance you are close to any of our sister companies, you will have access to free charging too.
Diggerland Theme Park have four parks across the UK, based in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire. If you show your hire confirmation, you will have access to the charging points located in the car parks.
H.E. SERVICES (Plant Hire) Ltd
Our other sister company H.E. SERVICES (Plant Hire) Ltd have 10 depots based around the UK in:
- West Midlands
- East Midlands
If you are near any of these locations, you are more than welcome to access the charging points at each of these depots if you have an EV rental from EVision Electric Car Hire.