Guide to Public EV Charging

New to the world of electric cars?

Our simple guide is here to help you navigate charging your EV in public, covering from how long it takes to charge to the different ways you can pay. 

Everything you need to know about charging when you’re not at home

Embarking on the exciting journey of electric vehicle (EV) charging may seem like uncharted territory for beginners.

Whether the allure of eco-friendly charging stations caught your eye or you’ve been contemplating the switch to an EV, this guide is created to help ease your mind and provide useful information of charging your vehicle when you;re not at home.

From decoding charging speeds on different chargepoints to easily locating the nearest EV charging station, consider this your go-to resource for a smooth transition.

Public EV Charging Questions


AC vs DC Charging, Whats the difference?

AC refers to alternate current and DC means Direct Current.

In basic terms, AC is used for slower, low power chargers that you find at home or in workplace settings, while DC tends to be used by public rapid chargers only as this provides the fastest transfer of power.

Our recommended 47kW chargers for public utilise DC charging.

How do I find my nearest fast rapid chargers when I'm out and about?

There a variety of ways to find your nearest public charger and specifically you’re nearest rapid charger wherever you are in the UK.

1. You can easily view all of our public chargers available on the ElectRoad network via our app or on our find your charger page online.

2. Zap Maps is the go to website for every public charger available in the UK and our network ElectRoad is also listed on this.

Knowing where you’re nearest fast chargers are on your travel route can greatly help reduce any issues with finding charge points.

How does the public use ElectRoad charging units

Download and use the ElectRoad app to elevate your EV charging experience with convenience and efficiency.

Locate, pay for services, and access insightful information on charging history and expenses effortlessly.

We also have on all of our units a fast and simple to use contactless payment unit, simply plug you car in to the charger and tap your card to begin charging. Simple and fast for everyone even when your phone battery has died.

How to charge my electric vehicle?

We would recommend good EV charging practice is to plug into the car first then the charger.

You can then access either the app or tap your card on the pay terminal for contactless payments to start your session. You can then end your session when ready or once it reaches 100% your car will automatically stop charging.

How long does it take to charge my EV on a public charger?

3kW Charging: Installed at residences, workplaces, and on-street charging points, as well as lamp-posts. A standard electric car equipped with a 60kWh battery requires just under 16 hours to charge from empty to full when utilizing a 3kW slow charging point.

Fast Charging (7-22kW): Fast chargers, ranging from 7 to 22kW, are typically located at destinations like train stations or leisure centers, where longer parking durations are expected. The 7kW variant, the most common, can add up to 30 miles of range in an hour.

Rapid Charging (50kW): DC charging points with a power output of 50kW are frequently found in abundance at locations where dwell times are less than an hour, such as supermarkets and retail environments. With a 50kW rapid charger, many electric cars can gain up to 100 miles of range in approximately 35 minutes. These are our recommended chargers for public use that offer the best ROI when installed without the need for major costly gorundworks.

Ultra-Rapid Charging (150kW to 350kW): Ranging from 150kW up to 350kW, ultra-rapid chargers represent the fastest means to charge an electric vehicle. Commonly located in high numbers at sites near main routes and in retail areas, these chargers can replenish a car’s battery from 10-80% in around 30 minutes.

Should you keep your battery topped up with charging or let it run down to near empty?

We suggest keeping your battery charge within the range of 20% to 80%.

Whilst this is not mandatory, adhering to this practice is beneficial for the overall health of your battery for the long term to ensure that it works to it’s maximum capacity (similar to your phone or tablet on ensuring the battery never fully empties).

Do I need to charge to 100% every time I plug in my EV?

When utilising rapid and ultra-rapid charging stations, the time required to charge the last 20% can be comparable to that of the initial 80%.

Therefore, we advise concluding the charging process at 80%, a practice commonly referred to as the charging curve.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Electric cars are charged based on the kWh of electricity used, akin to paying per liter of fuel for petrol or diesel cars.

Charging costs vary depending on the location (ie London is more expensive than other areas of the country) and type of charger.

Public charging is generally pricier than home charging, with faster chargers being more expensive expecially at service stations.

You can expect to pay from a 47kW charger around 55-75p per kwH with 1 hours charge adding 100 miles to your EV. This is why the 47kwH charger is the middle sweet spot for most public charging solutions.

What are the options for paying for your EV public charging?


Paying for charging has never been simpler.

Contactless card readers aren’t as common as you may think in chargers, here at ElectRoad contactless payments is a standard feature on every charger we install to provide customers with the fastest and simplist solution for paying.

Starting November 2024, all rapid chargepoints are required to accept contactless payments.

ElectRoad App

Using the ElectRoad app is fast and simple. Simply download and select the charger. You can then monitor your sessions and see your charging history alongside a simple way of paying via the app with various solutions.

RFid Cards

RFID technology, with its diverse applications, simplifies the payment process for EV charging. Specifically, RFID cards facilitate easy payment at charging points. By tapping your RFID card against a reader at a public charging point, you can initiate the charging process. The card transmits unique data to the charging station, identifying the user and enabling the start of the charging session.

Perfect for workplaces or providing key services such as health visitors and other public service users with an option to pay at preferential rates for example.

Other common questions we hear for public EV charging


Range anxiety, will I run out of power if I have an EV?

Range anxiety associated with electric cars stems from outdated misconceptions.

Electric vehicles are a practical and environmentally friendly choice, dispelling concerns about power depletion with evidence of technological advancements and an expanding charging infrastructure.

Crucial to managing any range-related worries is understanding miles per kilowatt-hour (miles per kWh). This metric aids in trip planning and highlights the efficiency of modern electric cars. With increased governmental and corporate support for the transition to electric vehicles, the landscape is rapidly evolving, making them a viable option for a growing number of drivers.

Embracing the reality of electric vehicles brings us closer to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Electric cars play a pivotal role in reducing pollution and aligning transportation with environmental goals.

Let’s wholeheartedly adopt electric vehicles, steering towards a better world for everyone.

Does winter affect how many miles I can travel on a charge?

In summary, your electric vehicle may experience diminished performance in winter due to several factors:

  1. Cold weather affecting battery performance and charging time.
  2. Increased energy consumption for heating, wipers, and lights.
  3. Adverse conditions like wet, icy, or snowy weather leading to up to a 10% rise in energy usage.
You can mitigate the affects through adjusting the wya you drive in winter and setting your car to pre-heat in the morning. We have covered this in more depth in our dedicated article.
Will I have to buy an EV car by 2035?

The ban solely applies to the sale of new vehicles, so you will still be able to purchase and sell used cars with combustion engines after 2035.

This means that all new cars sold will be fully electric from 2035 and the older ICE engine will phase out overtime.

Can I save money by purchasing an EV company car?

Potentially there are a number of great reasons to purchase an EV car for work and as a company car not only to mention the benefits to the environment.

We have a brilliant tool which you can use to compare your BIK (benefit in kind) for tax purposes of both combustion engines and EV cars to see how much you can save.

Simply click this link here to use our tool.

“ElectRoad makes it easy and affordable to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Our industry-leading, software and services are tailored to provide complete ease-of-use to customers and full visibility of your network for management.”


Accelerate your EV experience with our ElectRoad charging app – download now!

With the ElectRoad EV driver app, drivers can effortlessly find compatible charging stations, initiate and pay for their charging sessions, and keep track of their progress – all through a user-friendly interface. Download and sign up today!

ElectRoad App

Who we work with