Transport User Voice February 2024 – Electric Vehicle Charging Survey
31 January 2024
Driving improvements for EV users
According to new analysis, there are almost one million pure battery electric cars, vans and taxis on the road in the UK. With the sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans due to end in 2035, how can we make sure charging up is as easy for drivers as filling up?
Transport Focus has developed a new survey to measure the user experience of charging an electric vehicle (EV) at services on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads. It builds on the pilot survey we carried out in 2022. To help us gather the opinions of EV users we have partnered with Zapmap who provide a UK-wide map of EV chargepoints – to help drivers locate them, plan routes and share feedback.
So, what have EV users been saying about charging their vehicles on England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads?
67 per cent of those taking part between September and December 2023 were satisfied with the experience charging their vehicle. Road users tell us they are satisfied when there are plenty of chargers available, when payment is easy and there are good facilities available. On the flipside, those who weren’t satisfied have concerns about value for money, charging speed being slower than expected and having to wait to start charging.’
Comments from satisfied EV users included:
“Usual reliable service at a location with a decent number of chargers. Steady flow of cars but plenty of spaces.” Moto Thurrock Services M25, Gridserve/Electric Highway chargepoint user
“Available charger with no wait and smooth and fast charge, the way EV charging should be.” Moto Burton-In-Kendal Services M6, Gridserve/Electric Highway chargepoint user
“It’s really simple to use, contactless payment by card could not be easier.” Norwich Electric Forecourt, Gridserve/Electric Highway chargepoint user
“Great place to hang around. Cafe, toilets & shops!” Westmorland Rheged Center, Gridserve/Electric Highway chargepoint user
Comments from dissatisfied users included:
“I will be late for a meeting as took too long to charge. Was expecting 150kwh but actual was 32kwh.” Milton Heights SF Connect, BP Pulse chargepoint user
“They installed two additional chargers, but those additional ones have been broken since they did, but they had the audacity to increase the charging price from 35p to 65p.” Starbucks Stevenage, unspecified chargepoint operator
“Had to wait over 15 mins. There was a queue Thursday afternoon to charge. A bit chaotic as to who was going first.” Moto Exeter Services, Gridserve/Electric Highway chargepoint user
“Charger accepted my Volvo card but wouldn’t start a charge. I ended up using a payment card and had to accept the rip off £30 prepayment.” Costa Evesham, InstaVolt chargepoint user
“It would be good if it was covered… If it’s pouring down with rain I would’ve been soaked… Petrol pumps all have covers so I don’t see why EV chargers can’t have them.” Esso Flagstaff Island, unspecified operator
Here are some findings from the first set of data, just added to the Transport Focus Data Hub. Of the responses so far:
- 67 per cent were satisfied with the experience charging their EV
- 77 per cent rated their experience of finding the charge point as ‘good’
- 81 per cent said it was straightforward to start the charge
- 68 per cent rated the power delivered by the charge point as ‘good’
- 37 per cent said they were satisfied with value for money
- 78 per cent rated the cleanliness and upkeep of the charge point as good.
As more drivers transition to EVs, we look forward to growing this survey and using the insight to drive and measure improvements in the charging experience over time.
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