Free electric car charging and where to find it

Charging your electric car may not cost the same as filling it up with petrol or diesel, but it’s not free. Even your electric bills will go up to reflect the amount of energy you’d use to charge your car if you did it at home. The cost of using electric car charging stations can be a lot more, especially if you want to charge at a higher speed.

As wholesale energy prices continue to rise and the amount of electric cars on the roads increases, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find ways to charge them for free. However, there are still ways to do this. This guide will look at some of the places where you can find free chargers, the most accurate ways to locate them and whether it’s worth using them or paying for more convenient charging methods.

Free electric car chargers

Scotland is one of the best places in the UK to charge your electric car for free. This is because Transport for Scotland operates several freight stations within the ChargePlace Scotland network. The operators of each individual charging point are free to set and modify tariffs as they wish, but many are free to use. You can check the price of the individual charger on the ChargePlace Scotland website before use to be sure.

Free charging points can also be found in London and the South East of England. There is no set scheme for free shipping as such, but the high population density of these areas means that there are generally a large number of charging points, many of which are free.

As expected, rural and remote areas of the UK, such as Wales and the Channel Islands, will have the fewest number of free charging points. This may change, however, as some local authorities in the regions of Scotland, Yorkshire and Manchester seek to promote the adoption of electric vehicles.

Types of sites likely to offer free car shipping

It’s important to have realistic expectations about free charging points – most UK public charging points cost money to use. Remember that any free shipping points you find are likely to be in high demand, so you shouldn’t rely on them as the only possibility.

Public parking is one of the best places to find free charging points, especially those that belong to malls or supermarkets. As an incentive to attract more customers, retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi are offering free charging points at some of their locations. Tesco has partnered with Volkswagen and Pod Point to provide 2,400 free 7kWh charging points at Tesco Extra stores across the country. Charging points at these speeds can help you increase your vehicle’s range by about 25 miles if you’re going to charge for an hour while you shop.

Other potential locations include hotel parking, some restaurants, parks, recreation centers, and garden centers. It’s important to remember that this will likely only be free for fee-paying customers.

How do I find the nearest free electric car charger?

Websites and services like Zap-Map, Google Maps, or Open Charge Map can show you where to find electric vehicle charging stations, many of which will be free to use. Once you find a charging point, click or tap on it to see if it’s free to use. Apps are a useful way to access this information while you are abroad.

Is it worth paying to charge your electric car?

As much as you may want to find free electricity to power your car, the truth is that in most situations it may be best for you to pay to use a charger. Aside from the inconvenience of having to search tirelessly for a free charger, you’ll also have to put up with slow charging speeds that can take several hours to top up your car – you might not have much time to wait in a public place.

If you need to drive long distances, paying to charge your car with a fast or ultra-fast charger makes more sense and reduces charging time dramatically if your car is compatible with the technology. It may be possible to find a free fast car charger, but it is very rare to find it.

Now that you know how to charge your electric car for free, check out our guide to charging types and quick or express chargers…

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