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| News | Drivers

The UK EV Charging Experience In 2022

Preferred payment method? Most important facilities at a charging station? We surveyed Mer drivers to understand their EV charging experience on the Mer network in 2022.

ev charging experience

Last year saw the electric vehicle (EV) market grow significantly. As of the end of 2022, there were over 1,110,000 plug-in cars registered in the UK, with more than 660,000 battery-electric cars and over 445,000 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

As the number of EVs on UK roads increased, so did the number of EV charge points across the country. In January 2022, Zap-Map reported there were almost 30,000 public charging devices across the UK. By the end of 2022, this number grew to 37,261, representing a 31% increase since December 2021.

In December 2022, we surveyed EV drivers who use Mer’s public charging network. The survey offered an insight into their EV charging experience with us, and an understanding of how we can improve our service for drivers. Here are some of the key findings.

 

Habits and Usage

Home charging proved a popular preference amongst surveyed EV drivers, with 50% of respondents stating they do 60%+ of their charging at home. Given the 5% VAT on home charging, in comparison to the 20% VAT on public charging, the popularity of home charging is not surprising.

 

63% of drivers used a public charging station over 10 times in 2022

However, whilst home charging appears to be important for our drivers, the public charging network is also imperative. Research from Lloyds Bank found only 56% of British homes can currently support electric charging points, which shows the public charging network remains essential for those without access to a home charger. Our survey highlighted that 63% of surveyed drivers used a public charging station over 10 times in 2022.

By contrast, 71% of surveyed public drivers do no or very little charging at work. Is this a result of limited or a lack of workplace charging? There are several incentives for businesses to install EV charge points, such as the voucher-based Workplace Charging Scheme that offers support towards the up-front purchase and installation costs EV charge points. A recent YouGov survey highlighted that 50% of new car buyers are more likely to consider buying an EV if they were able to charge at work. 52% of drivers surveyed use a public charger for at least 20% of their charging needs, demonstrating the importance of having more and faster public chargers available.

 

How do drivers prefer to pay for their EV charging?

On the Mer network, drivers can benefit from a range of payment methods when using our charge points: via our mobile app, using our driver portal and map, with their Mer charge card, via our roaming partners or contactless payment.

How To Charge Your EV

The app appeared to be the preferred method of payment, with 56% respondents stating the Mer app is their favourite method, closely followed by contactless payment.

 

The Mer Network

27% of drivers used a Mer charger over 10 times in 2022. 74% of respondents are happy or extremely happy with their experience of charging with Mer overall. Drivers like our locations (60%), whilst 71% find our chargers reliable, and above 57% are satisfied with charging speed.

86% of drivers would be happy to use Mer’s services again.

When asked about the most important facilities at a charging station, drivers expressed a preference for little to no queuing, charging speed, and multiple charge points.

 

Customer Service

Mer’s customer service team support our drivers via telephone, email, and through our app.

Whilst only 29% of survey respondents have been in touch with our customer service team, 68% were happy with their experience with our team. We always thrive to offer the best customer service and are regularly monitoring and working to improve our services. Our helpline is reachable 24/7.

 

Location of charge points

The most popular answers to the question of the most convenient charge point location were on route (47%) and close to my home or work (31%).

Other suggested locations include at leisure centres, shopping centres, and holiday destinations. This highlights how home charging alone becomes insufficient when drivers are travelling in their EVs on holiday or taking long-distance drives, thus reinforcing the importance of a reliable public charging network.

 

How Can The Charging Experience Be Improved?

34% of drivers want to see more chargers, with a faster charging speed (25%) and a single method of payment (20%). Together, these factors suggest simplicity of charging is important for EV drivers, where high-powered chargers are in abundance and readily available, and the payment process is uncomplicated.

 

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