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Best chargepoint providers 2020
1. Tesla Supercharger - 92.9%

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Tesla Supercharger

Charging costs: 1st place
Charging speed: 1st place
Ease of use: 1st place
Reliability: 1st place

Tesla does some things differently to other car companies but it’s clear it has its charging network sorted. Only Tesla owners can benefit from the (now vast) Supercharger network’s incredible charging speed, reliability and ease of use, which could be a reason alone to buy a Model 3, Model S, Model X or the upcoming Model Y over rivals. New buyers no longer get free Supercharging for life but it seems those that have to pay are still impressed by the network. Account details are stored in the car, so there’s no need to fiddle around with apps or cards when you pull up to a charger.
2. Instavolt - 85.1%

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Instavolt charger

Charging costs: 9th place
Charging speed: 2nd place
Ease of use: 2nd place
Reliability: 2nd place
If you don’t have a Tesla, it might be worth hunting out an Instavolt charger when you need to charge away from home. It’s undeniably expensive compared to rivals, but the flat-rate prices are transparent and you don’t need to subscribe to gain access. You’ll need to check compatibility, but most plug-in cars can use these points, and Instavolt came out ahead of other brands in terms of speed, ease and reliability. These plus points might make it easy to overlook the higher pricing - especially as it’s still much cheaper than refilling a petrol or diesel car - and other charging stations could learn things from Instavolt.
3. ChargePlace Scotland - 81.4%

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ChargePlace Scotland charger

Charging costs: 2nd place
Charging speed: 4th place
Ease of use: 3rd place
Reliability: 8th place
ChargePlace is unique in this company as it’s run by the Scottish government, rather than a private company. From barely any just a few years ago, there are now over 1,000 charge points situated across Scotland (including the Shetland Isles) and they’re well worth a visit if you’ve bought a plug-in hybrid or electric car and live north of the border. The points seem to be easy to use and very affordable, and they’re pretty good for charging speed too. We’d recommend checking the live map before your journey starts, though, as reliability isn’t the best.
4. Shell Recharge - 79.4%

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Shell Recharge charger

Charging costs: 7th place
Charging speed: 3rd place
Ease of use: 4th place
Reliability: 3rd place
Besides higher costs than its rivals, Shell Recharge stations are popular with users. Despite Shell being an oil company first and foremost, Shell has invested heavily into its Recharge electric infrastructure, and that’s shown in its high marks for speed, reliability and ease of use. It’s ranked better than BP’s Polar network, and comparatively high prices are nothing new for Shell garages.
5. Pod Point - 79.2%

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Pod Point charger

Charging costs: 3rd place
Charging speed: 8th place
Ease of use: 6th place
Reliability: 5th place
Pod Point’s main operation is public chargers but it also produces home chargers too. Its network has grown rapidly thanks to its use at many major supermarkets, with the idea being that you can recharge your car while doing the shopping. At least if you’re doing the big shop, it doesn’t matter too much that charging takes a bit longer than with Pod Point’s rivals. Using a Pod Point charger shouldn’t be too expensive, and the company (now owned by French giant EDF Energy) also offers a free 15-minute ‘emergency charging window’ for cars low on juice.
6. Polar - 79.1%

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Polar charger

Charging costs: 4th place
Charging speed: 6th place
Ease of use: 4th place
Reliability: 6th place
Despite being one of the UK’s biggest public charging port providers with over 7,000 installed, it seems that BP Chargemaster’s Polar network doesn’t excel in any particular area. Pricing is okay, as is ease of use and reliability, while charging speeds rank in sixth place in our list even though 400 of those chargers are rapid chargers. Polar offers two pricing options - paying a Plus subscription gives you cheaper electricity, while Instant is pay-as-you-go but a bit more expensive.
7. Engenie - 78.7%

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Engenie charger

Charging costs: 5th place
Charging speed: 7th place
Ease of use: 7th place
Reliability: 4th place
They may have similar names, colour schemes and performance, but Engenie is a different company to GeniePoint below. Engenie’s chargers seem to be reliable but you’ll spend longer hooked up to a chargepoint (and it might take you longer to get it to work in the first place). The British firm states it gets all its power from renewable sources and is planning a big expansion to have over 2,000 rapid chargers installed by 2024.
8. GeniePoint - 76.9%

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Genie Point charger

Charging costs: 8th place
Charging speed: 5th place
Ease of use: 8th place
Reliability: 7th place
You say that GeniePoint’s chargers are reasonably quick to add charge to your battery and that reliability is okay but not as good as rivals. Charging costs and ease of use need to be looked at, though, as it doesn’t impress in either of these areas. Given that GeniePoint plans to have a 4,000-strong network by the end of this year (it currently has just over 1,300), we’d hope the company will make its ports easier to use, more dependable and perhaps cheaper too.
9. Charge Your Car - 76.2%

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Charge Your Car charger

Charging costs: 6th place
Charging speed: 9th place
Ease of use: 9th place
Reliability: 9th place
BP Chargemaster oversees the Charge Your Car (CYC) network - as well as its Polar division - but local councils and third-party operators own the actual chargers. That’s an unusual setup and clearly not one that works very well, because our readers slated CYC for its slow charging speeds, reliability and how easy the chargers are to operate. It could be due to councils needing to spend money in other areas rather than charger upkeep. A slight silver lining is that you won’t be shelling out for its poor service - value for money was rated average.
10. Ecotricity - 64%

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Ecotricity charger

Charging costs: 10th place
Charging speed: 10th place
Ease of use: 10th place
Reliability: 10th place
Judging by the scores you gave, we’d have to recommend avoiding Ecotricity chargers unless you’ve got no choice. Finishing bottom in every aspect is a frankly dreadful showing, and shows that Ecotricity needs to urgently and drastically improve its huge network. You’ll find Ecotricity’s ‘Electric Highway’ chargepoints at many motorway service stations, which won’t be something to look forward to for drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
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