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ROUND-UP: Instavolt petrol station chargers; Pod Point hit new milestone; Chargemaster expansion

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Image: Instavolt.

Instavolt free installs address forecourt cost concerns

Rapid DC charging provider Instavolt is to deploy units at half of Cornwall Garage Group’s forecourts after it was selected due to its business model allowing the petrol station operator to avoid the cost of installation.

The 50kW chargers will be installed at nine locations for free where Instavolt will maintain and update them at no cost to the forecourt. The company will also pay Cornwall Garage Group a rental income in return for housing them, with InstaVolt set to make its money from the sale of electricity to drivers.

David Whistler from Cornwall Garage Group, said: “It was an easy decision for us to make. Using InstaVolt has meant we haven’t had to shell out the capital expenditure to install the chargers. We don’t need to worry about maintenance costs going forward either, that’s all taken care of.

“There’s been a bit of nervousness across the fuel retailing industry about the cost implications of installing chargers, particularly in light of the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, but this arrangement means we don’t actually have to pay a penny.”

A growing number of forecourts in the UK are expanding their provision of EV chargers with the aforementioned bill currently progressing through dictating that it will be compulsory for motorway services and large petrol retailers to install charge points.

InstaVolt CEO Tim Payne said: “We see petrol forecourts as playing a very important role in e-mobility. They are adapting, just as Cornwall Garage Group has, and providing the same service that they do today, just in a slightly different way.”

Pod Point hits new charging milestone

The Open Charge electric vehicle network has hit 40,000 users which operator Pod Point has said means almost 30% of all plug-in vehicles on the UK’s roads are using its chargers.

This marks an increase of 273% from January last year, with Pod Point also seeing a 1,000% increase in charge cycles per month on its rapid charger network since May.

Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of Pod Point, said: “In 2017 the world woke up to the fact that the future of transport is electric, and we’re seeing this reflected in the take-up of our app. In addition to this, we’ve always believed EV drivers want friction-free charging without the hassle of RFID cards and this kind of exponential growth is a sign that we’ve got that right.”

Pod Point has said it plans to significantly expand its public charging network in 2018, with rapid chargers making up a core area of its growth strategy.

Erik added: “Every rapid charger we installed in 2017 is being well used, a sign of unsatisfied demand. We are expanding our network in line with this demand and in response to the usage trends that we have seen so far.”

Chargemaster to expand POLAR network by thousands

Chargemaster is to increase the rate of roll-out of its POLAR network significantly after confirming plans to add 2,000 new charging points in 2018, including around 400 rapid chargers.

These new chargers will be placed at ‘key strategic’, or destination, locations such as hotels, petrol stations, sports clubs and shopping centres. By the end of the year, Chargemaster expects drivers to have access to over 8,500 public charging points, including 700 rapid chargers.

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, said: “The POLAR network will maintain its position as the UK’s largest public charging network, providing convenient and reliable charging for EV drivers across the country. Over 40,000 drivers already rely on our network, which gives them access to over 40% of all public charging points on UK-wide networks, backed up with our dedicated 24/7 customer support.”

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