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How to find electric car charging points: Zap-Map

This popular app and website is used by electric and plug-in hybrid drivers across the UK looking to charge their cars; it now offers subscription service with added functions

Zap-Map mobile app

There are currently over 20,000 locations and more than 35,000 individual charging points across the UK, but finding one of them isn’t always easy. Especially because charging points aren’t usually signposted and are often found in less conventional places like supermarket car parks or quiet side streets. This is where Zap-Map comes in.

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Zap-Map is a great tool many electric car owners use to find nearby charging points. The app provides all the information about individual charging points you might need, such as location, maximum charging speed, fees for each charger, and even if it's currently in use. Almost all publicly available charging points across the UK are listed on Zap-Map, as well as some home chargers you can book to use, making it a must-have tool for electric car owners. 

Here, we explain what Zap-Map can do, what’s included in its new Zap-Map Plus and Premium subscription services, and what Zap-Pay is.

Nissan Leaf charging

How to use Zap-Map

Zap-Map is a free service that you can access either on the official website, or by downloading the free Zap-Map App from the App Store on iOS or the Google Play Store on Android. 

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Once you have access to Zap-Map, ensure location services are enabled on your device and then zoom out to see nearby charge points. You can also enter location details such as a postcode or the name of a particular destination to find charging points in that area.

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Clicking on an individual icon on Zap-Map will bring up all the available information for that location, including how many charging points are there, whether they’re in use, what type of connector they use, what network they’re on, and the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. Zap-Map users can also post if there are issues with the chargers or if they’re out of order to alert fellow users. 

If your car requires a specific connector, or if you just want to find the nearest rapid or ultra-rapid chargers for a quick top-up, you can refine your search with Zap-Map’s filters. Available both on the desktop and mobile versions, in menus on the left side of the screen, the filters include connector types, networks, location types, payment and access. You can filter results by charger network or provider, too, which is helpful if you’re subscribed to networks like BP Pulse, and even view chargers with 24-hour access for late-night top-ups.

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You can also use Zap-Map to find and book JustCharge chargers, which are home wallboxes that owners have listed online for any EV driver to use between specific hours of the day determined by them. A total of 1,600 JustCharge chargers can be found on Zap-Map, but you will need to book a slot for these units – you can't just rock up and use them like you would be a public charger – and pricing is set by the home owner as well, so it will vary for each one.

Charging

How do you plan a route on Zap-Map?

To plan a route on Zap-Map, first, create a free account to grant access to the route planner feature. Creating a free account also allows you to tailor charger options on Zap-Map specifically for your car if you add it to your profile.

For the Zap-Map route planner, add your starting and final destination, the model of your car, and any preferences for your route. If you only want to use a rapid charger, and based on your selected route, the system will locate suitable chargers for you to use on your journey.

Zap-Map Plus and Premium

The core features of Zap-Map are entirely free to use on the app and desktop versions. However, you can also upgrade to Zap-Map Plus or the top-end Premium service, granting access to some additional features.

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Two Zap-Map subscription services are available, called Plus and Premium. While all the core features remain free to use on the app and desktop versions, those with Zap-Map Plus can use access other information such as user ratings, more detailed location data and whether a charger has been installed in the last 30 days.

Zap-Map Apple CarPlay

On top of that, Zap-Map Plus users are able to experience the app ad-free and get integrated what3words locations for charging points, allowing for easier sharing of exact locations. Zap-Map Plus is available for £29.99 per year on an annual plan (£2.49 per month) or £4.99 per month on a monthly plan.

Zap-Map Premium subscribers get all the functions of the Plus subscription, with the addition of in-car dashboard capabilities if your car has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Premium users can also save unlimited filters, route plans and electric-car models to their account and app. Zap-Map Premium is priced at £7.99 per month or £47.99 per year (£3.99 per month).

Zap-Pay

Zap-Pay is the company’s pay-as-you-go charging service, which allows you to store credit and debit cards on the Zap-Map app, allowing you to locate charging points and pay for your charging session from one app. The Motor Fuel Group's rapid charging network is the latest to sign up to the Zap-Pay service. Other charging networks that now accept Zap-Pay include Osprey (formerly Engenie)ESB EnergyGeniePoint and on-street charging provider char.gy, however, Zap-Map intends to get more charging networks to allow payment from its app in the future. 

Using Zap-Pay also allows you to see and download your charging receipts. You can find chargers that accept Zap-Pay by selecting it on the payment filter on Zap-Map.

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Welcome one and all, I’m Ellis the news reporter on Auto Express, the brand’s former online reviews editor and contributor to DrivingElectric. I’m proud to say I cut my teeth reporting and reviewing all things EV as the content editor on DrivingElectric. I joined the team while completing my master’s degree in automotive journalism at Coventry University and since then I’ve driven just about every electric car and hybrid I could get my hands on.

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