People are gearing up to be a part of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) revolution. According to International Energy Agency, the world’s fleet of electric vehicles grew 54 % to about 3.1 million in 2017 and is expected to grow continuously. However, the development of robust charging infrastructure stays prerequisite for the adoption of electric vehicles. Presently, due to advancements in battery technology and well-established charging ecosystem, the switch to EVs is arising globally in a profound way.
In a country like UK, access to adequate and affordable power is one of the most significant challenges faced while providing EV charging. One of the UK’s leading providers of EV charging infrastructure, Chargemaster, now part of BP, manufactures a full range of charging equipment from home chargers to rapid chargers, as well as operates POLAR, the UK’s largest public charge point network. While Chargemaster is often funding the creation of new connections for rapid chargers and other devices across the UK, there are some areas where this is more challenging. The charge point industry requires the support of the six Distribution Network Operator (DNO) groups across the country to ensure that power is distributed and reinforced appropriately to manage the future deployment of EV charging at scale.
A Rapid Charging
Network Chargemaster is rapidly evolving in all areas across the business to serve an ever growing demand for electric vehicles. The company is trusted by thousands of owners, businesses and councils and has expanded with over 50,000 customers across the UK and Europe. It has served with more than 45,000 charging points for EV drivers’ home, and more than 5,000 public and commercially-operated charging points.
With the POLAR public charging network, Chargemaster makes it possible for EV drivers to drive around the UK without the need to use services from multiple providers. The network has been developed over the past seven years and provides the ability for EV drivers to get from one end of the country to the other, and drive across it from coast to coast. Beyond its charging network, Chargemaster also makes its 50kW DC rapid charger in the UK and is the only company to do so. The ‘Ultracharge’ rapid charger is one of the world’s most compact 50kW DC chargers, standing less than 1.6 metres tall with a small footprint. It is also very quiet, which makes it suitable for urban applications, including roadside use and deployment in areas next to residential properties.
A Pioneer in the EV Sector
Chargemaster was founded by a pioneer in the electric vehicle sector, David Martell, the CEO in 2008. David founded Chargemaster to provide reliable, convenient and sustainable charging for electric vehicle drivers.
Prior to founding Chargemaster, he was founder and CEO of Trafficmaster.
David was recently ranked as the 10th most influential person in the world leading the move to electrification of transport. He was also honoured by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership in the UK as Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport.
Chargemaster has established partnerships with multiple car manufacturers in the UK. Through this, it is helping to deliver charging solutions to their drivers, as well as major fleet and leasing companies. In operating its public network, the company is ahead of rivals in offering 24/7 customer support, which is important for helping drivers adapting to EV charging as a new form of technology. For its Homecharge operations, it talks one-to- one with all its customers, ensuring that it guides them through the application and installation process, as it has learned that many customers require additional support. For example, to understand whether it is possible for them to have a Homecharge point installed based on their home and where they park their car.
Chargemaster wants to ensure that drivers can charge reliably and conveniently across the country. It is increasingly finding that EV drivers are relying on the POLAR network to get them around, wherever they live in the UK.
Chargemaster took smart initiatives in the form of acquisitions to expand its robust charging infrastructure. In 2015, it acquired Hereford based GB Electrical, a national electrical contractor specialising in the installation of EV charging points. Since 2013, GB Electrical had been working with Chargemaster and is an authorised installer of charging points. After this acquisition, the company announced an investment of €15 million in its charging network to create 2,000 new charging points. This initiative was undertaken to significantly expand the amount of public charging infrastructure, and charge points on the POLAR network are now accessible on both a pay-as-you-go basis with either contactless or smartphone app payment, as well as its unique subscription solution, POLAR plus, with easy RFID card access.
Source: The 10 Smart EV Charging Solution Providers, 2018
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