London has an ambition to be the ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) capital of Europe. To help achieve this, the London boroughs, Transport for London (TfL) and others are delivering a network of public electric vehicle (EV) charge points, making it easy for Londoners to charge their vehicles both at and away from their home.
A range of different charge points have been installed in London, operated by different suppliers. All charge points in London can be found on the online interactive charging map provided by Zap Map. As yet, there isn’t a universal connector for EVs and charge points, so it is recommended that drivers check their car’s handbook and the charging network provider websites for more specific information on compatibility.
The following three types of charge point make up the EV charging network in London:
Slow charge points
Slow charge points are defined as those that provide power up to 7kW. They are best used for long, often overnight charging and usually take 6 or more hours to deliver a full charge.
Most electric car drivers charge their vehicle at home using a slow charger. For London residents who do not have access to off-street parking, this isn’t always possible. To overcome this, slow EV charge points have been delivered on-street, making it possible for those without off-street parking to charge their vehicle near their home. These charge points are often installed in or on lamp post columns.
If you are a London resident who does not have off-street parking, you can suggest a location for the delivery of an on-street electric vehicle charge point near to where you live. We will be launching an online map to do this soon.
If you have off-street parking and would like to install a domestic charge point in your home you may be eligible for a grant from the Office of Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) to help cover some of the costs. You can find out more about this grant, as well as related information and relevant application forms on the gov.uk website.
Fast charge points
Fast charge points are those that provide power from 7kW to 22kW. They can usually provide a full charge in 3-5hours, although a 22kW unit could complete a charge much quicker. These types of charge points are often found at key destination locations including public car parks, town centers leisure centers and workplaces.
Common fast connectors are a tethered Type 1 or a Type 2 socket (via a connector cable supplied with the vehicle).
Rapid charge points
Rapid charge points can be found on the street and in key destinations such as shopping areas. They can charge an electric vehicle battery in 20-30 minutes, making them the quickest means of charging in the UK. They are very convenient for those needing to charge their vehicle when on the move and are often found close to major roads.
Rapid charge points are one of two types – AC or DC (Alternating or Direct Current). Current Rapid AC chargers are rated at 43 kW, while most Rapid DC units are at least 50 kW. Tesla Superchargers are also Rapid DC and charge at around 120 kW. Rapid AC devices use a tethered Type 2 connector, and Rapid DC chargers are fitted with a CCS, CHAdeMO or Tesla Type 2.