(Pocket-lint) – Zap-Map offers a handy app that’s used by many electric car drivers to locate public chargers. The company has announced that it is moving into payments, with the aim of offering one app to rule them all.
The problem that EV users face at the moment is fragmentation across the UK. There are many different charging services and each needs you to use a different app, be signed up to a different service, use card payments, account pre-payments or jump through some other collection of hoops to get the charge into your car.
The only service that’s really easy to use is Tesla’s Supercharger network if you’re a Tesla owner – but if you want to charge your Tesla on another network, you still face the same problem.
Zap-Pay will aim to smooth out the process, letting you locate and charge through the one app. It will be a pay-as-you-charge solution and you won’t have to register with all the services, you’ll just have to use a payment card through Zap-Pay. You won’t even have to register with Zap-Map, although the company does say the process will be smoother if you do.
There’s something of a bumpy road ahead, however, with Zap-Map confirming that Engenie is the launch partner for the service. Initially, Zap-Pay will only be available at 10 locations in Stratford, Gloucester, Chepstow and Bristol, before expanding cover 150+ rapid charge points across the country by the end of September.
It has also been confirmed that ESB EV Solutions, LiFE and Hubsta will be included in the scheme in Autumn 2020, with wider roll-out in 2021. Zap-Map say it will offer unrivalled coverage across the country.
What is missing from the announcement is any confirmation of bigger established networks – Ionity, Polar, Instavolt or Ecotricity – that dominate in many areas. With that said, anything that can be done to help EV drivers charge their vehicles easily when they are out on the road or visiting a new area is a good thing.
Writing by Chris Hall.