How to find an electric car charger near me

With electric cars becoming increasingly popular, here’s how to locate the nearest charging stations to you...

Renault Zoe long-term charging

Electric cars are becoming more common on UK roads, and with that comes an increase in the number of people having to use public electric car chargers. 

If the thought of trying to find a suitable electric charger near you is daunting, fear not, because you’ll be surprised at your options. Yes, it does take more planning, but once you’ve become familiar with the different chargers around your area, it will become as easy as it is to fill up a regular petrol or diesel car. 

If you’re taking longer journeys, it’s important to know the different places you can go to charge by planning stop offs to avoid running out of juice while on the road. 

In our guide, we’ll reveal how you can find the closest electric car charging stations nearest to you. 

Public charging electric car

Is it difficult to find an electric car charger? 

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are placed all around the UK, and can be found in various different locations including at supermarkets, shopping centres, car parks and some service stations. 

With the uptake of EVs on the rise, the number of ways you can charge in the UK is increasing, too. These can range from dedicated EV charging hubs to chargers installed in lamp-posts in residential areas. All of which make it easier for drivers to charge up their cars. 

How do I find an electric car charging station? 

There are a number of different ways in which you can find an electric car charging station such as through apps such as Zap Map, searching online and even through your vehicle's own systems.

Most electric cars come kitted out with an abundance of technology and have in-car navigation systems installed within them. You can use this software to find the closest charging points to your location. 

EVs will automatically alert you that the battery is running low, giving you plenty of time to find somewhere to charge up. Other cars, such as those from Tesla, will go as far as planning routes to suitable charging stations, and even take another route if certain public chargers are already in use by other motorists. 

ZapMap mirrored using Apple CarPlay in Renault Zoe

Can Google Maps find electric car chargers? 

Yes. You can search for ‘EV charging stations’ in Google Maps for locations near you, and you can even filter by, charging speed and by user ratings. Not only that, but it also shows you the specific types of charger and plug that are available at the station you're headed to. This is particularly useful because there are so many different types of EV chargers available so it’s important you look for charging stations that can accommodate your car’s needs. 

It’s also possible to plot charging on your route by adding a stop and searching for ‘EV charging stations’. This will serve up chargers on or around your route, although it's harder to filter by plug type or charging speed.

Is there an app to find the nearest electric car chargers?

Apps such as ZapMap and ChargePoint can also help you find charging stations closest to your location. 

You also get real-time availability updates to let you know which stations are already being used as well as those which are available. Other features such as route planners allow you to plan longer journeys by factoring in charging stops that you should take throughout the duration of your journey. 

It’s worth noting that while ZapMap is compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, you’ll need to pay for a premium account to use it. Otherwise, you’ll need to safely park and use the free smartphone app.

Are public chargers free?

While you will have to pay to use most public car charging stations, there are some places where you can charge your electric car for free, including at some supermarkets, public car parks or car dealerships. 

C5 Aircross public charging

Remember to check carefully before you go ahead and charge up, though because some places may have a maximum stay time. 

It’s also important to note that not all public charging stations are user-friendly, and this can affect your charging experience. Luckily, we’ve rated the UK’s major charging networks to see which are the best, focusing on their accessibility, charging speed, ease of use, reliability and value for money.

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Read more: How to charge an electric car >>