Help understanding chargers!

Hello everyone!

I’m looking to make my first booking through Onto, but I can’t find any info on the site as to what public charging spots we’re able to access for free as part of the contract?

I also saw a thread last year which flagged that Onto drivers aren’t able to access the government grant for the home charger. I wondered if anyone had found a way round that?

Thanks so much for any help! :blush:

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Here’s a photo of the networks you can access using the Shell Card, courtesy of @Grandadgeorgec.

Use the filter in Zap-Map to select these networks, as well as BP Pulse. Franklin Energy use the LiFE network name.

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And Charge Your Car too. The BP Pulse/Polar card will work on those as well.

As for the grant, they used to do custom 6 month contracts but it looks like that has ended. You can use the 3-Pin granny cable at home to charge slowly, or you could get a home charging unit installed without a grant. The savings with vs without aren’t that significant depending on what installer you choose, as some have inflated the cost.


Download the Shell Recharge App. You can link the Shell Card to the App so as to access some chargers (particularly lamppost ones such as that don’t have card readers.


Also with shell card 0sprey chargers m

Thank you so much for your help, everyone - that’s brilliant.

And just for extra clarity - when they say free charging, do they mean only the access to those charge points or the electricity use too?

Thanks again!

Totally free. It includes your membership card, the connection charge, and the cost of the electricity.

Always read and abide by the signage though (as well as following usual charging etiquette) Some chargers have expensive overstay costs. If you get any penalties like that, they will invoice you for such costs.

Some places with chargers may also expect you to pay for parking while charging. This would also be at your own expense, though many places, especially the majority of councils around here allow it for free.

Also, be aware of charging locations where parking is free, but where you need to register your presence to avoid getting a fine — normally by inputting the car’s reg number somewhere — either inside the pub/hotel/petrol station building, or via sms.

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Thank you again, everyone. That’s hugely helpful :blush:

Yeah, super important to check this out. The Polar chargers at Holiday Inn hotels are often guilty of this if OP ever happens to visit one. Often with no notice to say you actually have to register inside either.

I Personally avoid these locations altogether as it’s just a hassle, and especially now with lockdown you never know if the ANPR Cameras are still on while the building itself is closed and you couldn’t go in to register even if you wanted to.


Yep - likewise!

I see it as me doing my bit to encourage them to stop putting chargers in such locations (unless they can automatically exempt me).


@EV_Newbie, we include the Shell network and BP polar, you can find information on the app, but also here


BP Polar

this is a blog we did a while ago, so this doesn’t highlight the shell network which we added in Dec 2020, but this may help you too

If there is anything else please feel free to ask the community who are always helpful or contact us using chat, email or phone and the CS team will endeavour to help


I’m a newbie here and looking forward to getting an i3 early next month.

I’ve noticed that my local Engenie (–> now Osprey?) chargers that I use regularly, located at CW5 5BH, aren’t highlighted on the Shell Recharge map.

Does this mean they won’t currently work with the Shell Card or App?


Hi MoJo - I’ve noticed a few Osprey chargers that for some reason (not sure why) don’t appear in the Shell app.

I’ve noticed this comment in ZapMap though and just had a thought that it might be worth you calling Osprey and having a conservation with them about a hypothetical situation in which you are at that charger with your Shell card, which hasn’t worked, and see if they say they would be able (and willing) to start it remotely in that case. Would be a bit of a faff, but at least it would be a free charge.

Also, it may be worth flagging this issue to Ian Johnston (Osprey CEO) who is quite active on Twitter.


My local Osprey chargers do appear on the Shell App map, but the Shell Card should work with all chargers on that network. Only way to be 100% sure is to try them but I’d be surprised if they didn’t work.

I’d second what @BillN said and give them a call. They have excellent CS as opposed to some networks we could mention! (Looking at you BP)


Thanks for your advice @BillN and @E7EV… I’ll give them a call and see what they say. The chargers have been there for ages, so I’m hoping it’s just an oversight :crossed_fingers:

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I’ve just called Osprey CS and they confirmed that Osprey accept Shell NewMotion(?) cards and as a result should work with Shell Recharge too… so it “should” work! Not 100% but I guess I’ll soon find out for sure.


There are 2 possibilities:
-The charger does exist on the Shell map but is in the completely wrong location - Until recently one of my local Fastned sites was on a map marker somewhere in the Netherlands.
-It’s a different charger to the ones they usually install which don’t appear on the app for reasons I don’t quite understand. One Engenie/Osprey location close to me is an ABB Charger rather than the usual Circontrol ones that they typically install. It doesn’t appear on the app at all, but will accept a card (after a couple of failed attempts if it’s your first visit to a specific charger - just keep holding your card against the reader and it should eventually re-check and accept)

Either way I don’t imagine you will have any issues getting your Shell card to work. Just remember to tap it on the RFID Reader and not the credit card terminal.

Hmm, it’s strange isn’t it, and seemingly a lost opportunity for Osprey (who I agree with others, are AMAZING compared to Pulse!). I’ve just contacted the CEO of Osprey to get his thoughts (thanks @BillN!) so will update when I hear back. :+1: