Zap-Pay: New app promises seamless payment for EV charging

Designed by Zap-Map, the new service enables users to search, plan, and pay for their electric vehicle journeys in a single place

Electric vehicle (EV) users will no longer have to shuffle between apps and cards to pay to charge on different networks, with the launch of a new service enabling them to do so from a single app.

Zap-Pay launches today, with Engenie the first network available, followed by a wave of partners in the autumn including ESB EV Solutions, LiFe, and Hubsta. The new system was designed by Zap-Map, an app which drivers can currently use to locate chargers across the UK. Using Zap-Pay, EV drivers will be able to search, plan, and pay for their EV journeys all in one place, the firm said.

“More people than ever are buying an EV, but providing a seamless charging experience is essential to accelerate this shift, cut carbon emissions and clean our air,” said Ben Lane, CTO and joint Managing Director at Zap-Map.

“We already buy much of our shopping with the tap of a finger – Zap-Pay means that EV charging is now the same. No one should need dozens of accounts, apps and cards to charge their car.”

The service should help overcome a major obstacle to wider take-up of electric vehicles, with charge points currently run by more than 40 networks. While some offer contactless card readers, drivers still often need to use multiple apps and cards to pay across different networks – an issue highlighted by 68 per cent of EV drivers, according to a recent Zap-Map survey.

The move was welcomed by transport minister Rachel Maclean, who said “it should be as easy for drivers to charge their vehicles at public charge points as it is to pay for petrol or diesel”.

“As the EV market continues to go from strength to strength, journey planning and paying with one app or membership card must also follow – Zap-Pay will help do just that, propelling us towards cleaner towns and cities and a zero emission future,” she added.

The strength of the EV market grew through the COVID-19 pandemic, with EV registrations up by 262 per cent in June 2020 year on year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. In contrast, sales of combustion vehicles slumped by more than a third over the same period.