Why does charging an EV have to be such a complicated process?

I have just bought a 2017 Nissan Leaf with a 30kW battery. I have been looking at recharging points across the country and in France but am now very confused about the networks, connectors, charges etc, and how to plan a long trip using the en route charging points. Can you give some advice or point me to somewhere which can explain all this?

Asked on 1 November 2018 by Ian Worby

Answered by Andrew Brady
It's certainly more complicated than it should be, as I'm finding out running our Volkswagen e-Golf (www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/volkswagen-e-golf/ho.../). The Leaf uses two charging inlets - Type 1 and CHAdeMo. Most public charge points will offer one of these connections. For travelling in the UK, Ecotricity has a monopoly on motorway charge points with its Electric Highway. These are fast and convenient, topping the Leaf up to 80 per cent in 45 minutes. They're expensive, though - and you'll need Ecotricity's app to use them. For other charge points (i.e. those away from motorway service stations), I'd recommend membership of Chargemaster's Polar Network, which provides access to 6000 public charge points in the UK.

I'd also recommend downloading the PlugShare app, which provides details of public charging points as well as what cars can use them and reviews from recent users. It includes chargers in France, too.
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