Ubitricity charging stations - the complete guide

Tom Barnard

17 Jul 2023

One of the most frequent objections to buying an electric car is “I don’t have access to a home charger,” especially in towns. Ubitricity, which is part of Shell, thinks it has the answer with on-street chargers which use clever lamp post sockets to provide power to residents and visitors in urban areas. It’s actually the UK’s largest public charging network, with more than 7,000 new locations on its network.

With innovative technology including the SmartCable, mySimpleSocket, and off-peak rates, Ubitricity is helping to make EV ownership a realistic proposition for urban motorists.

These are the key features of Ubitricity's charging network, the cost structure, and mobile app functions.

Ubitricity charge point app being used by person with smartphone in UK The app is key to charging

How to charge at an Ubitricity station

The first step is to find one of the 7,000 charge points operated by Ubitricity. These are on all the usual apps and websites.

Once you’ve found a spot, there are three ways of getting to the precious power, and only one requires a subscription or contract. You will need a smartphone and a decent signal however. Also remember to check the local parking restrictions as you may be time limited or have to pay.

The first is called DirectAccess. You simply scan the QR code on the post or bollard with your mobile device and follow the instructions on the site.

Be warned though – some fraudsters have been known to put fake QR code stickers over the real ones, so look out for anything suspicious and check the URL in your browser starts with “mysimplesocket”. 

Then just follow the instructions, enter your details (unless you’ve previously registered) and then charge.

Shell Recharge App: Unsurprisingly, the Shell Recharge app will also allow you to use Ubitricity points. Once you’ve registered and found the point, it will allow you to start the charge. 

Bonnet App: This is the one that requires a subscription. Bonnet gives you access and a discount on charging across many operators, including Ubitricity. For £2 per month, Bonnet gives a 10% discount for drivers under its ‘Light Boost’ payment plan. For a subscription of £8 per month, you’re guaranteed a 15% discount on all their charging costs under its ‘Turbo Boost’ package. 

All you need to do is open the app, find the charger and follow the instructions.

Bonnet app being used to start charge on Honda e, using Apple iPhone, in London The Bonnet app accesses the points and gives a discount

What does Ubitricity charging cost?

As of 3rd May 2023, Ubitricity’s standard pricing rate is 40p per kWh for customers accessing via the Ubitricity app. Those using the Bonnet app get a discount on these prices. Off-peak pricing at 37p per kWh is available between midnight and 7am. There’s also a connection fee of 35p per charging session. You can use ‘Smart charging’ to only take power at the off-peak hours. If you plug in from 4pm you will be given the option automatically schedule your charge during off-peak hours (midnight-7am). 

The Shell Recharge price is 40p per kWh at all times.

Is it worth downloading the Ubitricity app?

If you will use the network, then yes! In addition to locating charging stations, the app provides detailed information on the availability of charging points, their power output, and the pricing options associated with each location. Users can start and stop charging sessions remotely, monitor their energy consumption, and view past charging history. 

Do you still have to have a SmartCable to use Ubitricity?

In a word, no. The SmartCable integrated a meter and communication module directly into the charging cable but it is now obsolete and you can use any EV charge cable. 

What is Ubitricity’s mySimpleSocket?

The mySimpleSocket is the charging point integrated into existing lamp post infrastructure. Consumers won’t need to worry about it, but it may be interesting to local authorities.

How can I get Ubitricity chargers on my street?

If you’re tired of looking for a charge point near you, Ubitricity actively encourages drivers to request a public EV charge point near their home using a form on the website. 

What charging current is available at Ubitricity charging points?

You can see the maximum charging current of the respective charging spot on the mobile website or in your Mobility App before you start the charging process. Generally, the points are 3.6 to 5kW, so are more suitable for overnight or day-long recharges and top ups while you visit shops or family.


A SmartCable is no longer needed at Ubitricity points

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