Developing a Charging Strategy | A Step-by-Step Guide for PCO Drivers
London’s PCO Drivers are turning towards electric vehicles in large numbers, which is an exciting time for the city.
However, it also means that it’s important to have a strategy that works well for your daily needs.
The Importance of a Charging Strategy
We have strong hopes that London’s EV infrastructure will be improving over the coming months and years.
However, as it stands it will not be easy getting around London in an EV if you don’t have some kind of strategy in place, to ensure that your car is fully charged and ready to go.
On top of this, for PCO Drivers, who will require a lot more juice than the rest, you want to make sure that you can get your daily work done, without constantly stressing about your range.
Some PCO drivers will be able to install a home charger. If this is the case then you’ll be good to go. Most PCO Drivers will be able to charge at night (or whenever they are not working), and will be able to do a full shift when the charge is done.
For PCO Drivers without home charging capabilities it will be useful to follow this step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Know Where Your Local Chargers Are
The first tool that we recommend using is Zap-Map. This will help you to see where your local charging stations are.
Another very important point, is that it will tell you what electric providers are in your area.
This is very useful to know, because it will help you when deciding the best fuel access card for you (more about this below).
One important thing to note: the best charging stations for you might not be the ones nearest your home. That’s why we’ve included the next point too.
Step 2: Decide When You Want to Charge
It is important to know if you would like to charge at the end of your shift or somewhere along your route.
Different PCO Drivers have different preferences when it comes to this, but it’s important to establish your ideal charging time to find out which charging stations you will want to use.
The majority of Private Hire Drivers will probably prefer using their charging station at the end of the day, but there can be advantages to both strategies.
Step 3: Choose Your Charging Company
Now that you know which charging stations you will likely be using, it is time to pick which charging company you would like to use.
In London it’s likely that you will pick between Shell, Polar and Source London. Don’t forget if you’re an Uber Driver, you can get a discounted membership with Polar on your Uber Pro account.
There are of course a wide range of other charging companies around, from Ubitricity (who offer lamp post charging), to ESB (rapid chargers). We’ll be producing a full charging company guide next month so watch out for that!
Some Important Points About Your Fuel Access Card
Most charging companies operate in different blocks around London, so depending on where you live your decision might be made for you.
However, in case you do find yourself with the option, finding the right fuel access card might seem like a long process, but in the long run it is well worth taking your time to pick the right one.
Different companies offer different subscription plans, so it’s important to research into this. – You might prefer monthly subscription, or a pay-as-you-go model.
You may also see small price differences between them as well, so just find out what plan works best for you.
Please also note that if you’re planning on doing a lot of trips on the motorway, then you will probably have to apply for a fuel access card with Ecotricity as they cover all the motorways across the UK.
Step 4: Go Online and Register
This step is quite simple. All registrations can be done online, so just head to the website for the provider you’re interested in, and get yourself signed up.
Step 5: Wait 3-5 Days
After completing your registration, you will have to wait 3-5 days before receiving your card. If you’re looking to get on one of our PCO Rent-to-Buy Schemes then it’s probably a good idea to have all of this sorted out before you actually go to pick up your vehicle.
Step 6: Use Your Card
Once you’ve completed the previous steps you’re ready to get going. You’ll need to tap into the different fuel access stations with your new card, and you can get your new EV charged up.
For a full video of how to do this you can see our example video below.