A survey for Autocar has found that the reliability of rapid electric car charging points (classed as 50kW and above) varies markedly between different providers, with one company showing more than 30% as being out of order.

The best, Fastned, scored 100% reliability, while the poorest performing, GeniePoint, registered faults on 32% of its devices, according to the figures obtained by FastCharge.

FastCharge’s analysis across 12 of the UK’s largest rapid charging networks – which cover more than 75% of all rapid devices – suggests very few operators are meeting the 99% reliability record that has been suggested by the government. Based on new research of Zap-Map data, only newcomers Fastned and MFG EV Power were found to hit the government target.

Long-running networks perform less well, with BP Pulse having 7% broken and Pod Point, often found at supermarkets, having 13% out of order. Combined, these networks represent more than 1000 devices.

At the time of the survey in October 2022, the networks Osprey, Gridserve and Instavolt did better, with only 3-4% of chargers reported as out of order. Meanwhile, Tesla’s network – which remains largely private – was recorded as having 5% of its Superchargers unavailable.

The table is propped up by Ionity, Shell Recharge and GeniePoint.

This follows government action designed to tackle the unreliability of the charging network. Earlier in 2022, it announced plans to regulate the uptime of rapid charging devices and, although the laws have yet to be enacted, when they arrive all public chargers delivering more than 50kW are expected to have 99% reliability.

Given more than a third of motorists don’t own a driveway and will have to rely entirely on public chargers, infrastructure that is accessible and reliable is becoming critical.

The same survey found that the number of rapid chargers per car is actually falling, as sales of electric cars continue to accelerate. 

Rapid charger reliability league table
Network OUT OF ORDER %
Fastned 0%
MFG EV Power 1%
Gridserve Electric Highway 3%
Instavolt 3%
Osprey 4%
Tesla Supercharger (public and Tesla only) 5%
BP Pulse 7%
ChargePlace Scotland  7%
Pod Point  13%
Ionity  22%
Shell Recharge  25%
GeniePoint 32%
(Survey undertaken 29/10/2022 of Zap-Map by The Fast Charge)

Are there enough cars to each charger?

At present, there are around 570,000 battery-electric cars on British roads – a population that’s increasing by about 60,000 every three months. As such, questions remain about whether the charger roll-out is keeping up.

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