Motorway services topple supermarkets as most popular EV charging location

Audi RS e-tron GT charging

New research by Zapmap, the leading charge point mapping service, has revealed that motorway services and EV charging hubs have displaced supermarket car parks as the most popular charging locations in the UK.

This year, 55% of EV drivers they regularly stop at motorway services to charge, while 47% do so at EV charging hubs – these are up from 48% and 34% respectively last year.

This reflects the increasing number of charging hubs – which Zapmap defines as groups of six or more rapid or ultra-rapid devices – that are opening across the country.

At the end of November 2022, for instance, Zapmap data shows there were 99 open-access charging hubs, while at the end of November 2023 this more than doubled to 239.

In contrast, only 36% said they use supermarket car parks to charge their vehicles, down from 50% the previous year. The drop corresponds with the removal of many free-to-use chargers at supermarkets almost a year ago.

Jade Edwards, Head of Insights at Zapmap, said the “survey gives you a good indication of just how quickly the country’s charging infrastructure is developing”.

The research also showed that although 80% of respondents have a home charger, the vast majority of EV drivers continue to use public charging networks across the country.

Of these, national charge point operators Gridserve, Pod Point and InstaVolt are the most popular – with 36%, 34% and 34%, respectively, using them in the last six months.

As such, this year sees Gridserve has overtaken Pod Point in terms of being the network used by the highest number of respondents on a regular basis – although most used does not necessarily equate to highest satisfaction, as Zapmap’s recent charging network rankings demonstrate.

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