Charging points are individual devices that allow users to charge their electric vehicles and are also known as charging stations and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). As the uptake of electric cars continues to rise, and as the UK prepares for the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the electric vehicle charging network will continue to grow. It's important to note that this does not mean the end for all diesel and petrol vehicles which will still be available to purchase as used vehicles beyond 2030.
How many charging stations are in and around Bristol?
Data from the Department for Transport shows that as of 1 October 2022:
- Bristol has 133 public charging devices, 34 of which are rapid charging devices.
- North Somerset has 87 public charging devices, 32 of which are rapid charging devices.
- Sedgemoor has 42 public charging points, 7 of which are rapid charging devices.
- West Somerset and Taunton have 63 charging points, 12 of which are rapid charging devices.
- South Somerset has 67 charging points, 14 of which are rapid charging devices.
- South Gloucestershire has 168 charging points, 73 of which are rapid charging devices.
How many charging stations are in the UK?
There are, as of January 2022, 28,375 public charging stations in the UK including over 5,000 rapid chargers, according to gov.uk.
Just in the 3 months between October 2021 and January 2022, an additional 2,448 public charging devices were installed - a growth of 9%, highlighting the growth in the infrastructure.
Are there different kinds of charging points?
There are over 60 different charging network operators in the UK, with the most popular including BP Pulse, Ionity, PodPoint and Shell Recharge. Revive is one of the main charging networks in the West of England, including Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, and has charging points in a number of Bristol city centre car parks and Park & Ride locations.
Charging stations can be found in popular locations such as supermarkets and shopping centres, and some workplaces are offering charging stations as a perk to their employees. These charging stations typically have a bollard-style design and are equipped to charge one vehicle at a time, usually via fast charging.
Public charging points are also available at motorway service stations - the charging points here are typically rapid charging units, designed to minimise time delays on long journeys. These on-the-road chargers are much bigger than those charging units found in towns - this is to accommodate the extra power needed and their ability to serve more than one vehicle per unit.
How do I find charging points?
Charging network operators have their locations mapped out on their apps and websites so, if you're loyal to a select number of providers, you can check their respective online maps.
If, however, you are just looking for the nearest provider, or you are plotting your rest stops for a long journey, you can use an agnostic map provider such as Zap-Map.
How do I use charging points?
While private charging points tend to work automatically as soon as you connect the car to the electrical source via the charging cable - these will typically be the charging points at homes and workplaces. Public charging points will require some kind of authorisation before they will start supplying electricity; this is often done through the network operator's app or via an RFID swipe card.
In the case of Revive, a publicly-owned EV charging network in the Bristol area, customers can create a Revive account and then access charging devices either through their phone, RFID card or fob. The user can then connect their vehicle to the charging point and begin charging, with billing happening automatically against the card registered to their Revive account.
While there may be small differences in the way each network operator allows users to charge from their network, the above is representative of the general process to be followed.
Prices will be clearly displayed at the charging station prior to the charging session and will show the cost difference between fast charging and rapid charging.
Charging points at motorway service stations are equipped with charging cables so you will not need to use your own charging cable here, however, many charging stations require you to use your own charging cable so it is good practice to keep your cable in your car regardless.
Electric and hybrid vehicles at Carbase
With a continually-growing infrastructure to support the fuelling of electric vehicles, you may be thinking of making the switch from a petrol or diesel car to an electric one. Here at Carbase, we have a range of RAC Approved electric and hybrid vehicles available.
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