We no longer support this web browser. Upgrade your browser for a better experience.

Discover more about charging on the go, and whether it’s right for you.
Bristol Street Motors

A Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging Away from Home

A Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging Away from Home

  • There are over 50,000 public charge points in the UK where you can charge your electric vehicle on the go.
  • Learn how to utilise these and make the most of the public stations available.
  • Our expert team can support you with guidance on getting the best EV for your needs.


If you’re thinking about making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV)there are many fantastic options on the Motability Scheme. As EVs gain popularity, the availability and accessibility of public chargepoints has become crucial for owners.

Read on to discover more about charging on the go, and whether it’s right for you.

Where to charge an electric vehicle

Charging an electric vehicle involves connecting it to a charging point. There are three main places you can do this: at home, at work, or at one of the 53,029 (and counting) public charge points across the UK.

Charging at home is generally the most convenient option. However, you will need to utilise public charge points if:

  • You lack off-street parking and can’t get a home chargepoint installed.
  • You are on a long-distance journey and your charge runs low.


Important note: When you lease your first EV through the Motability Scheme, you’re eligible to have a home chargepoint installed. Motability will cover the cost of the charge point and its installation. Learn more about home charging.

Charging an electric car at public charge points

Many public places, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, and gyms offer EV charging in their car parks. These points typically provide 7kW charging, offering an average EV around 25 miles of range per hour of charging.

If you need a speedier top-up, you can make use of the rapid and ultra-rapid charge points commonly found at motorway service stations. These typically provide between 100-350kW chargingallowing you to top up your battery faster. Many vehicles can gain up to 80% charge in under 40 minutes via this method.

You can find your nearest electric car charge point on our handy map. Alternatively, if your EV has sat nav, local charging points will be displayed there.

To charge your car at a public point, follow the steps below.

  • Park in the designated spot. Ensure that the charging cable can safely reach your car.
  • Access the charging infrastructure. Some points require a mobile app for payment and activation. Follow the instructions on the charge point.
  • Connect the charging cable to your car until it locks into place.
  • Follow the instructions on the charger or app to start the charge.
  • You can monitor the charging process via the charge point or app. Once your EV is charged to the desired level, follow the instructions on the charge point to safely disconnect the charging cable.
  • You are now all set to continue your journey.

Important note: This information is for guidance purposes only. Individual charging stations may vary. Always refer to your vehicle handbook and the charging station's instructions.

An electric vehicle charging

How much does it cost to use a public charge point?

The cost of using a public charge point depends on several factors, including:

  • Network costs: Different charging networks have varying costs, similar to petrol stations.
  • Your car’s battery: The larger the battery, the more it will cost to charge.
  • Subscription plans or loyalty programs: Some networks offer special rates for frequent users.
  • Speed of charge: Ultra-fast charging stations generally cost more than standard charging stations.

It’s worth noting that charging rates may be displayed differently at various charge points. Some may refer to ‘per kilowatt-hour (kWh)’, while others may use ‘per minute’.

Join the bp pulse network

If you can't have a home charge point and you're getting your first EV through the Scheme, Motability will give you a subscription to the bp pulse network.* This gives you convenient access to over 9,000 public chargepoints across the UK.

With this, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Discounted rates: You will save around 8p per kW compared to other public charge points. Some bp pulse points are even free!
  • Information at your fingertips: The bp pulse smartphone app is extremely handy. It features a map showing your nearest charge points, including their speed and availability status.
  • £25 to get started: You will receive £25 credit towards charging when you join.
  • Half price drink: If you stop at Wild Bean Cafe, you can get 50% off a hot drink, to enjoy while your car charges.

Tips for EV charging on the go 

Charging your electric vehicle away from home can be a seamless experience if you know what to do. Here are some practical tips to make the most of your EV charging while you are out and about.

Plan your journeys

Before you set off, think about the route you will take and whether there will be charge points along the way, if needed. Using your vehicle’s sat nav should help with this and will prevent you from taking unnecessary detours to find a charger.

Utilise charging apps

Download some EV charging apps to allow you to locate nearby charge points and check their availability.

Join charging networks

Networks such as bp pulse allow you to take advantage of various benefits including discounted rates.

Carry charging cables

While many public charge points provide cables, having your own is handy in case of any issues. It also ensures compatibility with your vehicle if you bring your own.

Understand charging speeds

Different charging stations offer varying speeds of charge. Knowing what is available allows you to plan your stops based on the time you have available.

We hope this article has provided some useful insight into charging an EV away from home. If you have any further queries, feel free to speak with your Motability Specialist at your local dealership; they will be happy to advise.

Find your next Motability car

At Bristol Street Motors, we’ll help you find the perfect Motability car to suit your needs. Our friendly team can offer advice and guidance on our full range of vehicles, including hybrid and electric models.

Stay up to speed with all things Motability by checking out our Newsroom.

Browse Motability offers

*For full terms and conditions visit:  https://www.motability.co.uk/whats-available/electric-cars/charging/public-charging/