UK to get first privately funded nationwide EV charging network
Charging infrastructure specialist Chargemaster Plc has announced that it is to launch its POLAR network providing 4,000 fully installed electric vehicle charging bays be in approximately 100 towns and cities across the UK. This is on top of the roughly 1,000 charging points being introduced through the Government-backed Plugged in Places scheme.
Under the POLAR scheme, around 40 publicly available charging bays will be available in each town as part of the development of a core strategic nationwide infrastructure. As well as helping to promote EV take-up amongst drivers, it is also hoped that the creation of the infrastructure will prompt motor manufacturers to increasingly use the UK as the launch markets for their new ultra low carbon car models.
David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, said: ‘For the UK to lead the way in low-carbon motoring there is a real need for a comprehensive, targeted, safe and accessible EV infrastructure across all major towns in the country.
‘Most large manufacturers plan to introduce a plug in vehicle to the market by 2014. This shift is stimulated by OEMs need to meet stringent EU carbon reduction targets of face significant fines. For the British consumer to feel comfortable with switching to EVs, it is plainly obvious that a targeted and comprehensive nationwide charging network is necessary. Whilst Plugged in Places have provided a good start to this, in order to fulfil the anticipated demand and national coverage, we believe that the private sector needs to take a leading role in realising this objective.’
The network is entirely privately funded with no Government or local authority financial support. Access to the POLAR charging network will be by a small monthly membership subscription and a payment of 90 pence each time a charging unit is used. This provides “fuel” for up to 100 miles of electric car driving compared with around £20 for 100 miles in a comparable petrol or diesel car.
The initial rollout over the first nine months will involve towns and cities around the country including Basingstoke, Bristol, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Crawley, Derby, Eastbourne, Exeter, Gloucester, Guildford, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Newbury, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Rochester, Slough, Staines, Southend-on-Sea, St. Albans, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon, Taunton, Telford, Warwick and Wokingham, amongst others.