Alfa Power has installed the UK’s fastest fully public electric vehicle charger to date following the launch of a 60kW unit at a petrol forecourt in Yorkshire as the company sets out to future proof its business with new technologies.
The new charger, second only to Tesla’s 120kW chargers on its private Supercharger network, has been opened on the forecourt of the Shell refuelling point at Crown Service Station, Brighouse.
Alfa worked with supplier Delta to install its ‘four in one’ charger, which offers AC, DC, CCS and open socket type 2 charging points that can all be used simultaneously to charge multiple EVs, stating at a fixed rate of £0.30p/kWh.
Alfa has also used its close relationship with Plugsurfing, an emobility services provider seeking to provide greater access to EV charging across Europe, to develop a unique QR Code sticker system of payment, on top of the standard app or RFID fob use.
Speaking to Current±, Alfa Power’s managing director Alex Hinchcliffe explained: “Each and every connector on every one of our public charge points, whether that’s fast or rapid, has a QR Code sticker next to. If you activate a camera on your phone and hover it in front of that QR Code it immediately goes to scan and charge which allows you to use Apple or Android pay on your phone. This means you don’t need to download any apps or RFID [although] we have those facilities as well.”
The new charging and payment technologies are part of Alfa Power’s efforts to grow its product offering and prepare for the future demands of the EV charging sector. Its latest rapid charging install can be scaled up in 10kW increments to reach a charging speed of 150kW if needed, although Hinchcliffe said “at the moment we don’t think the market needs that”.
However, the company is not solely targeting forecourts and public highways for its installs, with discussions with gyms, golf clubs and supermarkets ongoing while further forecourts are also being targeted.
“We’re slowly but surely branching out from a nucleus from Leeds and trying to cast a wider footprint as and when we find the partners to work with,” Hinchcliffe said, adding that destination locations with a car dwell time of around three hours would make up the “bread and butter” of the business.
“The EV hub aspect would a skeletal structure in key strategic locations across the map but if we are to create a national viable network, we need to be able to interconnect between the dots so by and large, what we want to do as the vast majority would be destination charge points and we’re also talking to companies about fleet management solutions and workplace charge scheme options,” he added.
In addition, the creation of EV charging hubs similar to those being proposed by Pivot Power is being considered for land in Yorkshire, with an EV leasing arm also under development to offer cheaper access for potential EV adopters who could then purchase chargers from Alfa Power.
A vehicle to grid offer is slated for late 2019, while a partnership with EO Charging is targeting the home charging market.
Hinchcliffe concluded: “We’re trying to look into future-proofing our business by looking at how the market is shaping and we understand it’s not just about a viable commercial rapid charging network.”