Tesla has come out top in a survey of customer satisfaction with electric vehicle (EV) charging networks.

The first results of Zap-Map’s 2019 EV Charging Survey reveal the top 10 UK charging networks and the factors that make for high user satisfaction.

Zap-Map’s survey panel of more than 1,600 users awarded satisfaction ratings for more than 26 UK networks visited by Zap-Map users. Using a satisfaction score (0-100) based on these user ratings, the top 10 networks identified are:

1: Tesla Supercharger (94)

2: InstaVolt (86)

3: Pod Point (79)

4: NewMotion (77)

5: (joint) Polar / Shell Recharge (73)

7. ChargePlace Scotland (72)

8. (joint) Engenie / GMEV (70)

10. GeniePoint (69)

Tesla Superchargers topped the ranking with more than 86% of users reporting being “very satisfied” and 10% “somewhat satisfied” with the experience. Tesla scored highly with its low charging costs (free for early adopters), reliability and national coverage.

Retaining second place for the second year running, InstaVolt achieved scores of 64% “very satisfied” and 24% “somewhat satisfied” with the charging experience. Respondents cited ease-of-use and contactless payments among the most positive aspects of the service.

Third on the podium was Pod Point, whose UK-wide network includes slow, fast and rapid charge devices. As the third most used network within the survey sample, 45% were “very satisfied” and 37% “somewhat satisfied” when charging their EV on one of Pod Point’s units, with many users noting their simple-to-use operation.

The largest UK network, Polar (BP Chargemaster) was in joint fifth place with 72% of users being “satisfied”, a reflection of its well-maintained national rapid and non-rapid service. While much smaller in its extent, Shell Recharge, which is rolling out rapid units on station forecourts, appears for the first time within the satisfaction rankings sharing fifth place.

The Zap-Map survey panel was also asked to rank four key issues related to EV charging on the public network. The results reveal that EV users rank “reliability” as the overriding consideration, with “speed” a secondary factor. Charging cost is deemed to be relatively less important as are facilities available at a charging location.

Ben Lane, CTO and joint MD at Zap-Map, commented: “EV drivers are very clear as to what makes for a good charging experience with ‘reliability’ being the number one priority. EV users need to be able to access the whole of the UK network with confidence that the installed chargers will be working and available as advertised.

“EV drivers are increasingly savvy about the different levels of service offered by each of the UK’s charging networks and will change their driving routes to use those which offer the best service. This suggests that the market is becoming highly competitive with EV users happy to pay for quality, but avoiding networks which fail to provide a good charging experience.”