Engenie review: Charge while you eat
Following the launch of Engenie’s partnership with Marston’s Inns and Taverns back in November 2018, we have been waiting for an opportunity to use one of their new rapid electric vehicle chargers.
A little over a week after installation, we visited Engenie’s charger at The Manor Farm Pub at Haydon Wick in Swindon. Combining our need to recharge our car with a working lunch meeting, it felt like the perfect opportunity to see if Engenie’s customer-centric locations achieve what they set out to do.
Pulling into the car park, you would be hard-pressed not to notice the brightly coloured charger in the corner. Engenie’s striking colour combination of blue and orange certainly make them easier to spot than most of their competitors. It was a rainy day, so the added benefit of it being a tethered device meant it was a simple set up before heading inside to dry off, warm up and start our meeting. This charge point was tucked away at the far end of the car park, so we did get a little wet before heading in.
Payment at the Engenie rapid charge point
Engenie offers several payment methods, but the dominant signage on the device leads you towards the pay as you go (PAYG) process. After an hour and 15 minutes, with the meeting finished we headed back out, unfortunately still in the rain. Having started our charge on 52% using the Type 2 charger at 22kW, we were pleasantly surprised to be fully charged. The PAYG model had pre-authorised our account with £29 but also saw a same-day refund of £24.70.
Engenie have since confirmed with us that they are reducing the pre-authorisation amount to £5.
Engenie’s 36p/kWh rate meant we had gained an additional 40 miles at the cost of £4.30. Unfortunately, the simple setup may be somewhat let down by Engenie’s lack of immediate receipt functionality.
While they offer several payment methods, the lack of a receipt for PAYG customers may be off-putting to some drivers, both consumer and business customers. While they have a contact method on their website to obtain a copy receipt, it feels disjointed particularly for pay and reclaim employees.
Overall, the Engenie experience was undoubtedly better than most. With bright colours making the charge point easy to locate, tethered cables and clear payment options, it does feel like they are achieving their vision where customers can charge easily and quickly. With a few more customer-focused changes, Engenie charge points feel like an obvious choice for any new EV driver. Customers used to the way we fill up and pay at petrol stations currently will find using Engenie an easy transition for charging their electric vehicle on the road.
When we asked Engenie for their comment on future ambitions, they shared the thoughts of their new CTO, James Wehner, with us:
“Driver experience has always been at the heart of Engenie’s strategy, but there is so much more we can do as an industry to combat the barrier that poor user experience is too widespread EV adoption. I’ve joined Engenie from McDonald’s and the fundamentals of exceptional customer experience are the same in any sector – put the customer in control. So expect to see more consistency, more simplicity and more personalisation at our 200+ charging sites by the end of the year!”