Complete guide to the GeniePoint charging network
The GeniePoint charging network is run by ChargePoint Services: it consists of a few hundred charging locations across the UK, with 4,000 charging points promised by 2020. ChargePoint Services work with businesses – Waitrose and Morrisons supermarkets are two examples – to deliver charging points for customers with electric vehicles.
Most of its chargers operate on a price-per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis, meaning you only pay for the energy you use. The vast majority of the network consists of 50kW rapid chargers, while there are a handful of slow chargers managing, too.
There's no GeniePoint membership scheme, although you do have to set up an account with the company. Some of the stations of the GeniePoint network can be used for free.
Charging on the GeniePoint network
First, you’ll need to register your details and set up a GeniePoint Account. You can do this either by using a free Apple or Android smartphone app to initiate charging sessions, or by signing up for an RFID card in advance at a one-off cost of £9. Setting up an account allows you to view your billing history and past charging sessions, as well as control the automatic top-up function that can replenish the balance on your account from a debit or credit card.
The GeniePoint charging network features three main types of charger: Fast AC, Rapid AC and Rapid DC. Fast AC chargers operate at speeds of 7-22kW; Rapid AC chargers deliver 43kW; Rapid DC chargers, meanwhile, are the fastest of all with power rates of 50kW. How long a charge will take depends on the maximum charging rate of your electric vehicle, which type of charger you are using and how large your vehicle’s battery is.
Type 2, CHAdeMO and CCS charging cables all feature in the network, although not all of these are available at every station. Check beforehand to ensure that the charger you want to use will work with the socket on your electric car or electric van.
To charge using a GeniePoint rapid charger, first make sure you’ve got the necessary funds on your account. Then plug the cable into your car, and authorise the charging session by swiping your RFID card against the unit, or by pressing ‘START’ on the web app.
GeniePoint’s fast chargers work slightly differently: using your own cable (either a Type 1-to-Type 2 or Type 2-to-Type 2 lead), plug in your car first, and then plug in the charger. Then simply use your RFID card or the web app to start charging. RFID card users need to swipe their cards against the unit once again when they wish to stop charging.
How much does charging cost?
GeniePoint prices have two structures for ‘rapid’ and ‘fast’ charging, with each changing depending on whether you are inside the M25 (London) or not. Outside the M25, rapid charging requires a connection fee of £1, followed by a fee of 30p for every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed. At this rate, a full charge of a 40kWh Nissan Leaf would cost £13. Meanwhile, fast chargers require a connection fee of 50p, while the price-per-kWh is the same.
Inside the M25, GeniePoint’s connection fees for rapid chargers go up: this amounts to £1.80, although fast charging connection fees hold steady at 50p. The price-per-kWh of electricity used also remains at 30p.
GeniePoint also employs overstay fees, used to encourage drivers to move on quickly after charging. For rapid chargers, users are billed an additional £10 if they stay longer than an hour, while fast-charger users face the same fee after four hours of charging.