Its a mixed bag. Casually charging on a 7kW or 11kW AC charger at, say, a supermarket, shopping centre or town centre car park is pretty handy. Often for free. You can usually replenish the miles for the end to end journey as you shop or run your errand.
The 50kW DC CCS charging network isn't all that reliable. These are the chargers that are most used, quite old in some cases, and are often faulty. They're popular because its a quick way of charging but due to that comes wear and tear. They're operated by multiple providers so they differ in terms of payment and user interface. You will find ones in your region that you know are reliable and quiet. Relying on 50kW chargers on longer journeys can be risky.
The 100kW+ charging network is newer and more reliable (although this is debatable). Up until this Summer the 100kW+ chargers were mostly concentrated in the middle and south of England so longer journeys in to Wales, North England or Scotland meant relying more on the 50kW network or routing your journey via the few 100kW+ chargers in those regions. Ionity delivers the fast speeds but quite often their chargers are slow (so much so that they go to 'free vend' (i.e. free of charge)) or broken at least in my experience. But they've just opened their Alnwick charger and another is due in Glasgow which nicely links the north of England and Scotland. The likes of Shell and BP have pledged to install 100kW+ chargers at their fossil fuel stations, so far they're OK for reliability. Weirdly at these Shell/BP forecourts you have to sign in at the kiosk to avoid a parking fine? WTF.
Ecotricity, who provide EV charging at the majority of motorway services, had merged with Gridserve earlier this year and have just this week been fully bought by Gridserve and they're making progress in updating all of the motorway services chargers from broken 50kW chargers to 100kW+ chargers. In addition some sites will have multiple 350kW charge stalls added. In addition to that there will be service station style hubs installed too.
So up to now charging in the UK is largely OK but be prepared for disappointment on a fairly regular basis. You get to know what works for you in your local region. If you can charge at home then the issues on the network won't affect you much. Longer journeys take some planning and always have a plan B or C. It looks like the Ecotricity Gridserve shake up will mean that longer journeys will be a bit like driving a fossil fuel vehicle when it comes to charging.
have a look at the Audi site for the etron charging service - it’s RFID card will cover quite a few.Thank you for the extensive reply.
The majority of the time I’ll be able to charge at home as my daily drives are less than the range hopefully.
As for the main brands of chargers what are the best apps to download as I have read that the contactless options are flakey at the best of times.
have a look at the Audi site for the etron charging service - it’s RFID card will cover quite a few.
In addition I got InstaVolt - see below for a code to get fiver. Lol.
then I suggest you look at any regular routes you take on ZapMap and look at who owns / runs the chargers on those routes.
If you sign up to Octopus (cue a code from someone to share) then your overnight charging is really cheap for four hours. Plus I had seen they do some EV deals I believe for out and about chargers but I’m not with them so hopefully someone else can advise on that.