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How do you charge an EV on Subscription if you don’t have a home charger?

Using a Subscription service is a great way to drive an electric car without the huge outlay of an outright purchase or the long-term commitment of a lease, but how do you charge an EV if you don’t have a home charger?

This is a question that is also applicable to the significant proportion of UK homes that don’t have off-road parking. Thankfully, EV Subscription service Onto has a solution for its customers – which would also work for other EV drivers who don’t have home charging.

Onto’s main solution is to provide cards with each of its cars to allow access to three of the UK’s main charging networks: Instavolt, BP Pulse and Shell Recharge. All charging is free, as it’s included in the monthly subscription.

InstaVolt is one of the largest public rapid networks in the UK, with over 600 rapid charging stations, and was voted the best charging network capable of charging multiple brands of electric vehicle for three consecutive years (Zap-Map survey 2018, 2019 & 2020).

BP Pulse is the largest public charging network in the UK with over 8,000 charging points.

Shell Recharge has over 3,050 charge points in the UK including 950 rapid charge points, as well as giving access to the Ionity network with ultra-rapid charging (350 kW).

The above networks offer almost 12,000 public charging points in total, and are constantly expanding.

If you take a Tesla on subscription you’ll also get access to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network, which includes more than 650 Superchargers in the UK.

For motorists who are new to electric cars, the prospect of charging an EV can be a cause for anxiety. However when charging has been carried out once or twice, it’s typically no longer a source of worry. Charging really is as simple as turning up at a charger, plugging the connector into the car, and starting the charge using the card provided.

Finding a charger in the first place can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, however there are various ways of doing this including using apps such as Zap-Map.

The issue of cables and connectors can also be a source of confusion, but the vast majority of the latest EVs all use the same ‘CCS’ connector for rapid charging – with the connector and cable being attached to the rapid charger, so no cables need to be provided by the driver.

Rapid chargers (50 kW to 150 kW of power) and ultra-rapid chargers (over 150 kW) will give the quickest charge – potentially a 10% to 80% charge in around 30 minutes, although it should be noted that different EVs have different maximum charge speeds. However ‘fast’ chargers also exist, which may be eg. 7 kW or 22 kW, and these chargers generally need the driver to supply a cable to connect the car to the charger. Onto provides a cable (a ‘Type 2’ cable in most cases) with the car to allow customers to use fast chargers.

Onto’s data shows that 85% of its customers use the public charging networks. However if it’s not possible to access public chargers, then Onto also supplies a cable with its EVs to allow drivers to charge from a domestic 3-pin socket – but this isn’t recommended as a regular charging solution due to this type of charging being slow and not as robust as a dedicated EV charger.

If subscription customers decide they like EVs and want to keep driving one, then Onto has a partnership with Pod Point who can offer a discount on installing a home charger.

So if you’re considering driving an EV using a subscription service, but you’re worried about how to charge the car, then Onto has this covered – and even better, it’s free – which is even more of a bonus with current energy prices.