Electric car charging points

Learn more about charging an electric car, how long it takes, where you can charge and how much it costs in the UK.

Electric car UK charging points map

There are now more than 29,000 charge points across the UK in over 10,500 locations - that's more public places to charge than petrol stations, with around 10,000 charge points added in 2019 alone.

Find electric car charging points near you with a map of all the charging stations around the UK, in major cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

Free electric car charging points

There are thousands of free electric car charge points in the UK, often located in supermarkets, shopping centres, public car parks, hotels and sometimes service stations. Be aware there could be restrictions such as a set period of time or a requiring a purchase in-store, so it's best to check.

Here's the steps to find free to use electric car charging points on the map above:

  1. Click 'Filters'
  2. Click 'Payment'
  3. Select 'Free to Use'
  4. Click the 'Apply' button
electric car charging cable at home

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

How long it takes to charge an electric car is one of the most frequently asked questions. Whilst filling up with gasoline takes a few minutes, the time it takes to charge an EV from low to full is much longer. However, it can be more convenient. Typically electric cars are charged when the car's not in use, like overnight at home, in the same way you would a mobile phone, or during the day whilst you're working.

How much you charge, or need to charge, will also change - with gasoline, the majority of people drive their cars until the fuel gauge shows low on fuel and we fill the tank up to full again. This behaviour stems from the inconvenience of having to go to a petrol station. With electric cars and the convenience of charging at home, you may find you 'top up' the battery each day as it's used rather than waiting for it to get low - again similar to a mobile phone.

Another factor that may impact the number of times you need to charge your electric car or van is temperature. Lithium-ion batteries perform better in warm weather, so you might notice a slight drop in the range your EV can travel in the colder winter months.

In summary, how long it takes to charge an electric car depends on:

  • Your car's battery size
  • How many miles you do between charges
  • Your charging behaviour, i.e. topping up often vs charging from low to full less often
  • The power rating of the charger you're using - you can read more below on different types of chargers and their kWh ratings


To give you an idea how long it takes to charge a specific car's battery from zero to full, try this handy charging calculator:

Did you know?

Electric vehicles often come with battery warranties based on the number of charging cycles (1 cycle is equal to 1 full charge and 1 full discharge), with many manufacturers offering anything from 60,000 to 100,000 miles on their battery warranties as standard.

electric vehicle charging station at home with electric car

Half price evenings and weekends

Exclusive to electric car drivers, the 100% renewable(1) GoElectric tariff offers half price electricity evenings and weekends(2) for both your household and your electric car

Find out more

Electric car charging sockets

Here's a handy infographic on charging point socket types and speeds

Electric car charging point types infographic

Can't see the infographic? Read it here instead

Charging

 

Charger types

You can charge an electric vehicle either by plugging it into a socket to take electricity from the grid or by plugging into a charging unit. There's plenty of charging stations around the UK to stay fully charged while you're out and about.

[IMAGE: an example of a type 2 charger connector]

Three pin plug

A standard three-pin plug that you can connect to any 13 amp socket

Socketed

A charge point where you can connect either a Type 1 or Type 2 cable

Tethered

A charge point with a cable attached with either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector

 

Charging speeds

Slow

Typically rated up to 3kW. Often used to charge overnight or at the workplace.
Charging time: 8-10 hours

Fast

Typically rated at either 7Kw or 22kW. Tend to be installed in car parks, supermarkets, leisure centres and houses with off-street parking.
Charging time: 3-4 hours

Rapid

Typically rated from 43 kW. Only compatible with EVs that have rapid charging capability.
Charging time: 30-60 minutes

 

Charging up in changing seasons

The weather affects how much energy your electric car consumes. You have a larger range in summer and smaller range in winter.

 

Charging on the go

Don't forget to download the Zap-Map app to find the nearest charge station when you're out and about.

499 new devices added to the Zap-Map database over the last 30 days*

9,698 charging locations over the last year (Sept 2018 - Sept 2019)*

*27/09/2019 ZapMap stats

slow charger battery icon in white and orange

Slow chargers

Slow chargers have a maximum of 3.6 kW available, and typically take between 6-12 hours to recharge a pure electric car. These chargers are ideal for overnight charging.

Fast charging icon in white with yellow

Fast chargers

Fast chargers are rated at 7-22 kW and usually take between 3-7 hours to recharge an EV depending on the battery size of the car. 7 kW chargers are a popular choice for the workplace and at home and there are several models available to buy and lots of different installers who can fit them for you. It can be confusing, but all you need to do is decide what power rating you want and choose either a tethered or socketed charge point.

rapid charger icon in white and green

Rapid chargers

Rapid are the quickest (43 kW+), generally capable of charging cars to 80% in 20-40 minutes, depending on how big the battery is and how much charge it's holding to start with, so they're a great way to top up during long journeys. You can often find them in motorway service car parks, petrol stations, larger shopping centres and supermarkets.

wireless charging icon in white and green

Wireless chargers

Wireless charging is super convenient and allows for the transfer energy between a pad on the ground and a compatible EV - no need for cables at all. While it's not in the UK yet, Norway will install the world’s first wireless electric car charging stations for Oslo taxis and BMW is due to release their new wireless charging solution with their new plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance very soon.

Tethered electric vehicle charging point

Tethered charge point

A tethered charge point comes with a long cable attached to the unit, it’s available with either a Type 1 or Type 2 cable and you’ll need to make sure you get the right type to fit your car’s charging inlet. Most newly manufactured electric cars in the UK come with a Type 2 connector, but it's always worth checking with the manufacturer before purchasing a tethered charge point. 

The benefit of a tethered charging unit is you can plug it straight in to the car when you get home. However, you are limited to vehicles with that connector Type.

EO Mini Pro electric vehicle home charge point

Socketed charge point

A socketed charge point comes without a cable and is essentially a dedicated charging station, fitted with the necessary safety devices to protect you, your car, and your home’s main fuse board. Socketed chargers are universal, because any electric car with a fast charging cable, can be used with the charger.

The benefit of a socketed charge point is that you can accomodate all electric vehicles, so if ever you decide to change your car, you are not limited to vehicles with a specific connector type.

What power rating should I use for my home socket?

When it comes to home charging, 3-7 kW chargers are the most popular and are widely recommended for the UK market. Many UK households have a single-phase (AC) electricity supply and can support the additional 7 kW load. Some households, with three-phase (AC) supply can support a more powerful fast charger up to 22 kW. However, this is far more common in countries like Germany with a more robust electricity network.

Always check with the installer that your fuse board has enough spare capacity to support the additional load of a home charging station. If there is not enough spare capacity, then you may have to pay to upgrade your distribution board.

Rapid chargers offer you a much quicker charge, perfect for longer journeys, when a quicker charge is needed, but it's not advisable to only use rapid charging because this can increase the degradation of your battery over time.

Electric car charging cables

Charging cables have connectors you plug into the vehicle and/or the charge point. The type of charging connector depends on the vehicle and the power rating of the charge point.

Charging connector typePower ratingApprox. range per 30 mins of chargingCharging cable features
UK three pin plug
UK three pin plug

2.3-3 kW AC

Single Phase (Standard Charge)

5 Miles
  • Standard UK domestic electricity outlet
  • Not designed for prolonged use needed to fully charge an electric car
  • Very slow charging with maximum power output of 3 kW
Type 1 connector
Type 1

3-7 kW AC

Single Phase (Slow/Fast Charge)

12 Miles
  • Only available in single phase
  • Less common in modern electric cars
  • Has no locking mechanism when car is connected to supply
Type 2 connector
Type 2

3-43 kW AC

Single Phase/Three Phase (Fast Charge)

75 Miles
  • Is becoming the standard European electric car charging cable connector type
  • Compatible with both single and three phase electricity supply
  • Has an in-built locking mechanism when connected to power supply
  • Tesla has a 120 kW DC version of type 2
CHAdeMO connector type
CHAdeMO

50 kW DC

Three Phase (Rapid Charge)

85 Miles
  • Is the older type of charging cable connector for rapid charging
  • Is compatible with Japanese vehicle manufacturers
  • Is the most common rapid connector type due to the popularity of the Nissan Leaf
Combined Charging System (CCS) connector type
Combined Charging System (CCS)

50 kW - 350 kW DC

(Rapid Charge)

85 - 200 Miles
  • Is the most versatile rapid charging connector
  • Likely to become the most popular DC connector standardisation
  • Enables a haigher power rating to support larger ultra rapids chargers

 

Electric car charging points grant

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), contributes up to 75 per cent towards the cost of buying and installing an electric charger, up to a maximum of £500, if you have a home with off-street parking suitable for an electric car charger and an eligible electric vehicle.

Similarly the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), contributes up to 75 per cent to a maximum of £500 for each socket, for up to 20 charge points across all of the sites they operate.

Read more about grants for charging points

EO Genius electric car work place charging point

Workplace charging points

For employees, charging at work offers a great alternative to public charging and is a convenient way to recharge during the day. Workplaces that offer charge point facilities on site, can help to increase the interest, understanding and adoption of electric vehicles within their companies.

Businesses, charities and local authorities that take advantage of the Workplace Charging Scheme, makes installing chargers more affordable and helps employees who own an EV. Also with companies being incentivised to reduce their carbon emissions, workplace charging can go a long way to helping businesses meet their CO2 emissions targets.

Customised, integrated solutions using battery storage, solar, Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Demand Side Response (DSR) are all potential revenue savings and streams, that will give you more options to get the most out of your energy supply.

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