Ionity charging stations: how to use the fastest chargers in the UK!

#rapidcharging # #electriccars

If you have an electric and take place to be out and about on the UK's larger roads, you may well have actually observed charging stations. Thanks to their unique purple LED halos and huge white cabinets, Ionity charging stations are typically discovered in bigger freeway services around the country. There are currently 18 live UK locations, including Alnwick, Baldock, Beaconsfield, Cambridge, Chippenham, Cullompton, Gretna Green, Leeds Skelton Lake, Maidstone and Milton Keynes, in addition to Channel Entrance, Cobham, Cringleford, Peterborough, Perth and Polmadie.

Ionity is really a joint endeavor between a load of automobile manufacturers: BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, and VW Group – consisting of Audi and Porsche – that is aiming to provide big power charging across Europe. Although any make can use them..

If you're new to Ionity, you'll notice something a bit different. Unlike practically all other rapid battery chargers, Ionity systems do not accept contactless payment. There are currently 5 methods to pay: An RFID card from a producer, through the app, through the QR code on the station, or through Shell Recharge or Octopus Electric Juice.

As far as power outputs Ionity has chargers capable of supplying a max of 350kw. If you're lucky adequate to have an automobile with an 800volt charging system like a Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Porsche Taycan or Audi GT – you could see 10-80% in under 20 minutes. But any lorry can use them – they just won't make the best use of the power going in, and will be restricted to your vehicle's optimum charging speed. It's good to understand what that is, by the method, so you can try and ensure you constantly utilize the suitable battery charger.

Join Tom as he steers us through a charging session with an Ionity battery charger. Find out how to link, make a payment and find how long it will take to charge your vehicle. Are you a fan of Ionity's charging stations? Let us know in the comments below.

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23 responses to “Ionity charging stations: how to use the fastest chargers in the UK!”

  1. Lee Smart Avatar
    Lee Smart

    Worth noting that Ionity chargers are CCS only. Less of an issue as CHAdeMO becomes less common.

    1. Greg B Avatar
      Greg B

      Well there is only 24,000 Nissan Leaf and another 70,000 Mitsubishi Outlander phev on UK roads so I am sure they will be fine with no Chademo charges!

  2. Steven Barrett Avatar
    Steven Barrett

    I have used them a few times when desperate….massively overpriced I guess they think they have you over a barrel when on the motorways.
    There are some ways to mitigate the cost like a subscription etc but they really pile on the £££££s when you are a ‘guest’ user….so saying then more chargers the merrier, unless you have a Nissan Leaf or a pre-2019 Renault Zoe then you are totally stuffed as these are CCS only

  3. qrogueuk Avatar

    At one point in the future a driver may be able to pull up plug in and use contact less card to pay. No smart phone or lots of different app downloads or 4/5G required on the users end. Just like a vending machine or trip to the shop.

    1. DavidT Avatar

      Or universal plug and go, just like Tesla, don’t even need a contactless card.

  4. Roel van Es Avatar
    Roel van Es

    Used quite a few times in our XC40 both at Baldock and Peterborough. However…

    Very often suffered very low speeds such as 30 or 35kW, despite having a 150kW capable car. Phoning gets you to a European call centre. Nothing much seems to change, issues frustratingly common, repairs super rare!

  5. Simon Stokes Avatar
    Simon Stokes

    Doesn’t work with our mx30 🙄

  6. John Doyle Avatar
    John Doyle

    Fast, reliable, usually available, but very expensive, and not many around the UK yet.
    I do not mind the cost too much as I only use them when on long journeys, I am prepared to pay for speed ,reliability, and availability. I have an EV6 and the charging speed is amazing, regularly over 200 Kw, only just time to get a coffee .

  7. CastleKnight7 Avatar

    Would be nice if charging places had a covered forecourt like petrol stations have for when the weather is inclement.

    1. Reinier NN Avatar
      Reinier NN

      In the Netherlands fastnet is building them covered. Also high speed chargers. (I nearly never use them because I’m in my homeland …and due to the distances I only charge at home….but I do recommend them also if you’re ever in the Netherlands….I tested them and they are working as good as ionity. (My charge cars is the old “the new motion” card…10 years old already. And now it’s called shell recharge. Fastnet also belongs to shell.

  8. Tom Avatar

    I’ve never had a problem with Ionity chargers, i find them the absolute best when on long journeys! I drove from surrey all the way to Strasbourg in my iD3 and without Ionity i can imagine it wouldn’t be as simple. The can only think of one ‘problem’ i’ve ever had with an Ionity charger and that’s one time i had to wiggle the plug slightly once it was plugged into my car before the charger was happy. Literally that’s the only ‘problem’ i’ve ever had, if you can even call it that?
    I really hope they keep building these at Motorway services, and the Gridserve chargers. Only thing with Gridserve is if it’s one of their older chargers that they took over from the people they bought out, it can get a bit iffy then. Still yet to visit one of the electric forecourts by gridserve tho. That’ll be a little taste of the future!

  9. Rex Eady Avatar
    Rex Eady

    All the ways to pay EXCEPT the one most people want!! – the contactless card. The complications involved in charging puts many many people off getting an EV. I can’t believe it’s so difficult – I shall avoid them if at all possible.

  10. The Rutland Flyer Avatar
    The Rutland Flyer

    My preferred provider as my 800 volt battery can charge at 275kw. However my 2 nearest chargers (Peterborough and Cambridge) are nearly always fully occupied. I blame the discounted rates which attract too many users

  11. Jamie Wilde Avatar
    Jamie Wilde

    You didn’t mention the third colour of the charger light, one you’re sure to see often. Red means the charger is broken. Again. You can consider the reliability whilst you’re waiting for all those Audis and Porches with huge batteries to charge up to 100% ignoring the queue.

  12. Garry Croft Avatar
    Garry Croft

    My favourite chargers (M65) Blackburn services. 6x350kw units. A lot of people are commenting on the high price, most of the manufacturers listed pay only 28p kWh. I’m not one of those so use a third party app and pay 31p kWh with a monthly subscription.

  13. Darren Simon Avatar
    Darren Simon

    Used many of them in Europe last year on our trip to southern Germany. Didn’t have an issue with one, we used the Bonnet app to activate them.

  14. Nigel Garvey Avatar
    Nigel Garvey

    With regard to the video description above, I can’t think of any obvious reason why Ionity charging stations usually being found in larger motorway services around the country should be thanks to their distinctive purple LED halos and big white cabinets! Also, Octopus Electric Juice has been known for some months now as “Electric Universe” or “Electroverse”. (Tom does say “Electroverse” in the video.)

  15. Reinier NN Avatar
    Reinier NN

    On my long travels I will go to an ionity if available.But still on the continent.
    First…There are always MORE than one charger.
    Second..Even if all others are occupied I still get maximum charging speed (225KW ,with an ioniq often faster charged than I have gone to toilet and taking a cup of coffee)
    Third : They work on my charge card. No difficult apps needed (internet problems when using apps are possible due to lack of 4G as I noticed with a charger from Orlen…only possible to start with an app )

  16. Irek M Avatar
    Irek M

    There is not enough stations and those are always busy,I am glad I have got Tesla

  17. Ian Green Avatar
    Ian Green

    In Europe the IONITY network is absolutely perfect and worked a treat on my recent trip to Switzerland.
    However the IONITY at Cullompton were horrendous the other week only running at 35kwh with my battery at 20% on a cupra born 58kw!
    They said they had issues and that was all the help they gave me annoyingly!

    Also you forgot to mention that if you buy a boost membership (£2/month) through the bonnet app you get 10% off the IONITY price!

  18. theoneis101 Avatar

    Car makers need to start putting fast charging ability in the cars at no extra cost, my MG4 has hit 143kw on an ionity charger for quite a long time. Issue I feel is when cars like Peugeot e208 can only do 50kw, this holds up chargers. I understand it costs more for the car to have the ability to take it in but it would help with the whole “they take hours to charge” argument. Also if MG can afford to fit it then I’m sure others can too.

  19. BordersW123 Avatar

    Can anyone explain why manufacturers would rather this compared to contactless payment?The only advantage I can see is it gives them valuable data about yourself which can be resold.

  20. K Walls Avatar
    K Walls

    Have visited lots of Ionity locations. Seldom find one with any chargers that are not fully occupied and therefore need to wait..

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