Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About us

Why is ZCW donating charging stations?

We are donating electric vehicle (EV) Charging Stations to the hotel and leisure industry in the UK to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common in the UK thanks to a number of manufacturers moving toward greener plug-in technologies. That, coupled with the soaring price of fuel, means that electric cars will be everywhere in a couple of years.

We are supporting the adoption of EVs to reduce carbon emissions in the UK. The second report of the Zero Carbon Britain project states that emissions from personal transport accounts for approximately 40% of the UK's transport carbon output. We believe that switching to electric vehicles can dramatically reduce this figure and we want to support by providing the only unrestricted charging network in the UK – ZeroNet.

Government research has shown that buyers often state the lack of charging infrastructure as one of their main concerns when buying an electric car; conversely, many businesses don't want to install Charging Stations until more cars are on the road. We want to solve this negative cycle by donating free Charging Stations to the hotel and leisure industry to support drivers.

How are you funded?


The main funding for our donation project comes from Kevin Sharpe, our founder and Patron who bought all of the Charging Stations we are donating.

You can donate online.

What marketing will you do to help promote my business?

We have access to a large number of electric car drivers through our various social channels. We'll use Twitter, Facebook, our website and specialist web forums to promote your location's entry to ZeroNet.

Your site will also be added to Open Charge Map – a global, open and public database of Charging Stations. This database is used by a number of smartphone apps and websites to allow electric car drivers to find places to stay and charge.

What is OCM?

Open Charge Map is a global, open and public database of Charging Stations. This database is used by a number of smartphone apps and websites to allow electric car drivers to find places to stay and charge.

More information can be found on the Open Charge Map website.

What is ZeroNet?

ZeroNet is our Charging Network and it is the only unrestricted network of Charging Stations. Users of our network do not have to carry a smart card, be a member or pay us anything. Use of our Charging Stations is usually free in exchange for purchasing goods or services from the host site. This could be a good meal, a night's stay or having fun while doing an activity.

Why are you supporting EVs?

Emissions from cars account for 30% of the UK's carbon output. Electric vehicles can dramatically reduce this figure and make the air in cities nicer to breathe. Switching to electric vehicles will have not have a negative impact on the national grid. As most EV charging happens at night, their demand will help to smooth power generation allowing for a cleaner, more efficient grid.

About Electric cars

How long does it take to get a meaningful charge?

This really depends on the particular driver. A meaningful charge could be anywhere from an hour over lunch to an overnight stay depending on what the driver needs on that trip.

charging times

Who sells electric cars?

Electric cars can now be bought from most manufacturers. However, like performance or premium cars within a brand only select dealers within the group will sell them. Check the specific manufacturer's website for more information on this.

What about plug-in hybrids or other plug-in cars?

Any car with a plug can use our Charging Stations.

Can the current grid support electric cars?

Switching to electric vehicles will not have a negative impact on the national grid. As most EV charging happens at night, their demand will help to smooth power generation allowing for a cleaner, more efficient grid.

With our current power generating capacity, the grid could support 30 million electric cars.

What is a Charging Station?

From Wikipedia: 'An electric vehicle charging station, also called EV charging station, electric recharging point, charging point and EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), is an element in an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles, including all-electric cars, neighbourhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.'

Basically, a Charging Station is something that can supply power to cars in a safe way.

About our Charging Station donation scheme

What do you get with a ZCW donation?

All donated sites get one 32A Type 2 Charging Station, one parking sign, entry onto two charging network maps and promotion through our social media channels and website. For more information take a look at our Free Charging Stations page.

Who is eligible?

We want to build a charging network that is useful to drivers. We donate to sites in the hotel and leisure industries where a driver can stop and enjoy spending three or more hours at that location. For example, our current sites include: Hotels, bed and breakfasts, gyms, shopping centres, quadbiking tracks and a pottery-throwing workshop.

How do I know if my site is suitable for a donation?

A full list of our donation criteria is available on our Free Charging Stations page.

Who is responsible for the donation?

Once we donate the Charging Stations to you they become your property to share in a way that works best for you.

What is the typical cost of an installation?

We work with a number of companies to ensure you get the best value for money when it comes to installation. Many have fixed installation prices when a location meets certain conditions.

More information can be found on our Free Charging Stations page.

What benefits can installing Charging Stations bring my business?

The Department for Transport has set a target of 1.2 million plug-in cars on the road by 2020 and is supporting this aim with financial incentives. This has made the electric car market become one of the fastest growing in the UK. Installing a Charging Station now will put you in the position of being ready for this new market while also setting you apart from the local competition.

How many other businesses in my area have charging stations?

You can check to see if there are any other ZeroNet locations in your area by looking at the ZeroNet map. But even if there is this should not stop you from applying. Choice for drivers is good.

Other Charging Station providers could have locations near you – you can check the Open Charge Map for this. However, the ZeroNet model ensures that drivers have something to do while their car charges making your location much more tempting than sitting in a motorway service station or on the side of the road.

How many people does your marketing reach?

Our marketing is social media based and therefore is hard to give a definite number for reach. However, we have over 400 visitors to our site per day and a combined twitter following of around 4000 followers.

Your location will be advertised through the above methods and also added to the Open Charge Map database that feeds its data into multiple SmartPhone apps. These allow drivers to search out nearby locations that offer charging when planning days out, overnight stays, holidays or even just a break in a long journey.

All of this combined means your site is advertised to the right people in the right way.

Will this help with green award accreditation?

Yes. Installing Charging Stations can help with green accreditation. Lasswade Country House in Wales won 'Best Green Marketing Initiative of the Year' in the Considerate Hoteliers awards for its role in Welsh Road Trips; a project that includes the use of Zero Carbon World Charging Stations.

It sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?

No catch. If you meet our donation criteria and agree to pay for the installation we'll send you the Charging Station. We are a charity and are interested in promoting electric cars and you can help us to do this.

I own three other businesses. Can they all apply?

Of course. To be eligible for the donation each site will need to show that it meets the donation criteria on its own merits.

I'm about to launch my new business. Can I apply now?

Please get in touch with us through the Contact Us form to discuss timeframes.

What contract do I have to sign?

You have to agree to our terms and conditions of donation. They include requirements for you to test the Charging Stations regularly. Other than that, once the Charging Stations are installed and working, they are yours.

You can see a full list of conditions on the Free Charging Stations page.

How long am I tied to your terms for?

Our terms and conditions relate only to our donation criteria and eligibility. Once installed we will not ask you for any money or insist on an exclusivity contract. The Charging Stations are yours.

I don't own our car park. Am I eligible?

Unfortunately, no. We require that one space is allocated to priority EV parking.

Installation Questions

Who pays for the installation?

All costs relating to survey and installation are to be paid for by the site.

Can I charge my customers?

Charging customers to use the Charging Stations is at your discretion, but we do encourage you to offer it as a free service. The Charging Stations bring you a competitive advantage and we anticipate the extra revenue will more than make up for this cost.

How do I maintain my Charging Station?

It is your responsibility to maintain and regularly test the charging stations. We recommend that the RCBO Test button is pressed weekly and the Charging Stations inspected at least every six months by a qualified electrician.

Can usage be restricted to our guests or must it be offered to anyone?

The charging stations are for your customers' use, but can be offered to the wider public if you wish.

Does the Charging Station have a power meter?

The Charging Station does not have a meter. It is possible to have the charging station wired up to an additional meter to monitor usage, however this is likely to raise the installation costs.

Can the Charging Station be switched off?

The Charging Station should be left on at all times. It will only supply power when a car is connected safely.

How far away from the parking bay can the charging station be installed?

The typical length of a car’s connecting cable is 5 metres. The charging station should be installed as close to the priority car parking bay as possible, and definitely within 5 metres from the connecting point of a car due to the car's cable length.

How long does the donation process take?

Within reason, we can move as fast as you need. A typical donation will follow the pattern laid out below:

  • You register an interest online.
  • Our Marketing Manager gives you a call within 5 working days.
  • You are sent our information pack to read.
  • Our installers will be in contact within 7 working days to arrange a remote site survey.
  • If you are happy to go ahead with the installation, our partners will arrange an installation date within roughly 2 – 3 weeks. You send us our completed donations form.
  • We ship the Charging Station to you ready for you installation.

The whole process can be done in as little as a month.

What electricity supply will I need for the Charging Station?

We ask that you have a minimum supply of 32 amps at 230 volts single phase. This is enough to run our donated Charging Station. More power will allow you to run more Charging Stations as the market grows.

I only have single-phase electricity. Am I eligible?

Yes. While a three phase supply would future proof your site for newer technologies a single-phase supply is perfectly adequate.

How much does it cost to maintain the Charging Station?

The Charging Station is simple and reliable by design. Maintenance should be minimal but any qualified electrician can undertake any work that needs to be done.

I don't trust my electrician. Can you install the Charging Station?

We can refer you to our installation partners who will work with you to provide a quote for installation.