For a long time the weak link in EV ownership has been the charging network. This is especially true of the UK, where dozens of operators are fighting for market share.
The problem is partly because of their business models.
They want create a loyal pool of customers by tying them to monthly membership schemes whereby the charger network is accessed via an app or a special card with embedded RFID chip.
This isn't good if you need to plug surf because if you believe in Murphy's Law then you know that the closest charger won't be included in your network.
The UK government is trying to change this by asking charging operators to install contact-less chip card readers so that motorists can just tap a bank or credit card rather than needing to download an app or join a scheme, making charging simpler.
To determine how far along the UK was in offering hassle-free charging I borrowed a Volkswagen ID3 and tested the infrastructure around the EV-friendly city of Milton Keynes, just north of London.
First, it's not just the charge-point operators that are looking to lock customers into memberships. Automakers are also doing this. ID3 owners, for example, are encouraged to join VW's We Charge membership scheme.
If I had owned the ID3 I tested, which was 1st Edition Pro Power with the mid-spec 58 kilowatt-hour battery, I would have been automatically signed up to We Charge and given 500 pounds (568 euros, $683) of free charging.
After that I would have had to pay up to 13.99 pounds a month for We Charge to qualify for cheaper recharging rates.
The main charging provider in the UK and across Europe for We Charge customers is Ionity, which is partly owned by Volkswagen Group.
While We Charge works with other providers, users on one ID3 forum said their points were hard to find and if they were found they seldom worked.
“[My card] has not worked at any of the chargers shown as a green dot on the map that is part of the app. Whenever I try, the card is rejected as not authorized,” Steve GC wrote on ID3forums.co.uk.
Others had more luck but it was unpredictable.