The City of Westminster is to offer a greater number and variety of electric vehicle (EV) charging points available to drivers in the borough from early 2017.
The council announced yesterday (30 November) that from January 2017, charging points will be upgraded and up to 20 new outlets will be installed, including some rapid chargers.
The smart grid technology company BPL, under the Source London network, is putting in place a new model for electric charging, while Chargemaster is rolling out public charging network ‘Polar’.
PodPoint will be upgrading the equipment and the council will be working with new operators to increase provision for EV users across the borough. A new range of tariffs tailored for different users of different types of EV technology is being introduced by the operators.
Westminster city council was the first local authority in the UK to launch on-street charging points for electric vehicles. It now has over 60 on-street charging points, with an additional 200 available off-street.
The council claims that the expansion of the EV network will also help its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood and other air quality hotspots in the borough by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants.
Cllr Heather Acton, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said:
“Poor air quality is a continuing problem for us in Westminster, but we’re doing all we can to help improve our environment through our Greener City Action Plan. This includes encouraging a switch away from diesel vehicles, with easy parking for electric vehicles and improving electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging car club use as an alternative to a private car, reducing freight and waste vehicle movement, promoting more cycling and walking, eliminating vehicle engine idling and reducing emissions from buildings.”
Cllr Acton also explained that the authority is also trialling new measures within its Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood which “will help make real improvements to air quality in central London.” And, she added:
“Electric vehicles can help by cutting reliance on more polluting cars. The expansion of the EV network offers an improved service for those who need a vehicle.”
One week into the new and exciting world of my new eMotor and I’m looking to venture further afield.
Home charging is easy, if a little long with a 13amp plug and I eagerly await my 32 amp POD Point to take advantage of cheap night rate electricity. It’s still called Economy 7 you know, just like it used to be way back when.
I mentioned in my previous post I was tackling range anxiety. Doing so within the confines of Milton Keynes (MK) seemed sensible. It was fun using sport mode to drain the battery 🙂
At eighteen miles range remaining all the appropriate warning lights went off (came on?) and…
I continued driving!
Yup. I continued. I’m that kind of chap.
Brave huh? Yes, for a given value of brave. Eco mode made me feel a little more secure.
After a couple of miles of tormenting lights, prudence reared her head and I agreed with her. It was time for me to tackle my first rapid charge.
Dear reader please forgive me as I wave my ignorance at you in the following.
I pulled over, stopped and pressed lots of buttons* (no manual yet). Within moments I had a map of Milton Keynes and dozens of choices to hoover up some power. Ooh how happy and clever I felt.
It didn’t last.
Broughton is a newer area in MK so I chose to explore it and fill up there. Yes, since you ask, it happened to be the nearest point. Remember, I’m working on my range anxiety.
If I’d known the area I would’ve stayed on the main road and seen the chargers by the local shops. I didn’t. Satnag** said turn right into Cavan Way and I did. The location of the charger and the satnav were at odds by approximately one road and two hundred yards. I’ll remember that in future searches.
I parked (reversing cameras are great) and tackled the Monolith. Which cable/connector to use? Easy I know my plug options. Now, where do I pay? Ok. Sigh. I’ll read the instructions. Bu**er!
Yeah, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind you needed a card but surely I can just buy some electric? Just a little bit for cash? Eh? Hole in the wall technology right? Wrong. Holes in the wall are mostly for getting money out not for putting it in.
I closed my recharging flap (that’s not a euphemism) and did the walk of ignorance and shame back to my comfy leather seat. It felt further than the three paces. The heated seat and steering wheel cheered me until I was back at home with my three pin plug.
So take heed brave new adventurers, preparation is required to charge away from home.
I have now joined the Chargemaster Polar Network and Ecotricity (for the motorway free charges). Currently the Polar network has a six month offer free of standing charge. I’ll review my use of their service in May 🙂
One other thing. eMotors are eligible for free parking in MK once you have a green permit. Apply on line at the MK Council website.
BTW – The Ioniq eMotor? It is a fantastic machine. Pure pleasure to drive.
Bye for now. I’ll be in touch.
* The next day I noticed a horrible whining noise. My shock and disappointment convinced me a motor bearing was on the way out. Hang on what’s that light? Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) active. Not now it isn’t.
It was a good day – there was a lot of interest shown in the i3 and lots of good questions. I’m encouraged that the general public may finally be warming to electric cars.
We were positioned next to the Chargemaster stand which was handy as their stand was displaying a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and examples of their charge points. That meant it was easy to explain plug-in hybrids and home charging.
Overall it was a useful event and we look forward to repeating it next year.
A new partnership between the AA and Charagemaster is set to help boost sales of electric vehicles. In the first partnership of its kind, the Automobile Association and EV charge point specialists will combine forces to provide discounted charging, increased access to home charge points, an information campaign, and the roll-out of charge points at AA-rated hotels.
According to research conducted through AA members, 96 per cent of motorists don’t know the real cost of running an EV. This is despite the Association predicting that more than 500,000 plug-in vehicles will be on UK roads by 2020.
To combat this, the AA and Chargemaster will be attempting to overcome misconceptions with an information campaign that highlights the benefits of EV use and ownership. The partnership will also have practical financial impact on AA members with a discount worth more than 10 per cent on Chargemaster’s Polar Plus network. This brings monthly membership down by £1 to £6.85.
The number of charge points located at AA-rated hotels is also set to expand dramatically thanks to the partnership. With 2,500 hotels in the UK rated by the AA, the potential expansion of the EV charging network is huge.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, says:
“We think that the EV revolution is about to take off and we want to help consumers understand the benefits of low cost, low emission driving and to show them it is accessible and affordable. Per mile driven an EV is five times cheaper than the average petrol car and carries no Vehicle Excise Duty.
“Modern electric vehicle designs and performance are comparable to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Concerns and regulations about diesel emissions may also prove to be a tipping point. Sales of new ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEV) doubled over the last year. And 63,000 drivers have taken advantage of the plug-in car grant. We expect the market to grow substantially, as buyers overcome their misconceptions.
“The vast number of car journeys are under 25 miles and a third of households have two or more cars. Hence, we estimate that more than two million second cars could be electric tomorrow, with no disadvantages and many cost-saving benefits. The AA’s research also shows that if drivers owned an electric vehicle, three-quarters (75 per cent) would expect to charge it overnight, mainly at home while a quarter (25 per cent) would rely on public charging points away from home.”
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, points out that a significant barrier to electric vehicle ownership is concern that when they reach their destination, drivers will not find a charging point available. This worries 81 per cent of respondents to the AA’s research.
“We want to change that perception,” he says. “This new relationship with the AA will see hundreds more AA branded charging points installed. They’ll go in at AA-rated hotels and other accessible public places such as supermarkets, public car parks and town centres while we will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to show that charging a vehicle at home is neither difficult or costly.”
Edmund King concluded:
“The facts speak for themselves. The cost of electric vehicles is coming down and the £4,500 government grant helps make them competitive. Myths about batteries not lasting long have been blown away by use. Some of the earliest models have clocked up very high mileages with almost no diminution of battery capacity.
“Modern EVs have a much greater range and battery technology is advancing as fast as the cost is falling. Most family saloon cars will drive for 80 to 100 miles without difficulty, well over the average journey length. EV performance is startling – top-range vehicles will accelerate faster than sports cars and provide all the creature comforts.
“This is the future of motoring and we are proud to be launching this initiative with Chargemaster today. Now is the time to charge up the EV revolution.”
Nissan is offering free homecharge units to new Leaf buyers, giving new owners a ready-made charging set-up.
The offer is part of a nationwide campaign with the Japanese manufacturer’s official charging partners – Chargemaster and Pod Point.
Buyers of new Leafs on one of Nissan’s finance packages will be eligible for a free Pod Point or Chargemaster unit if the car is bought before Friday 30th September. The deal is on all models and specifications of Leaf, the best selling pure-EV in the UK.
With all buyers of Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) eligible cars – of which the Leaf is one – able to claim the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant too, there has long been help for buyers of new EVs to easily add a home charge point at the same time. The grant offers up to £500 off the cost of buying a unit and having it installed.
Chargemaster and Pod Point are offering 3.7kW Nissan-approved home charge units fully installed as part of the offer, saving customers just under £400 compared to if they had bought an EVHS-backed unit from the installers directly.
The process needs no input from the buyer once they say that they would like to take Nissan up on the offer. The dealership notifies the installers, which then take over, organising home visits and arranging for engineers to fit the unit free of charge.
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said:
“Our relationship with Nissan GB has evolved since we announced that Chargemaster was an official charging partner in the UK. We are delighted to be able to offer Nissan’s finance customers a trouble-free home charging solution free of charge. Chargemaster is committed to making charging easy and accessible for every EV motorist, and the team can’t wait to get started on the campaign and future homecharge installations.”
Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of POD Point, said:
“We are very pleased to continue our close partnership with Nissan GB by providing its electric car customers with free home charging points. The ability to charge an electric car at home is a key part of the EV experience and we are excited to help Nissan ease the transition into the world of electric driving.”
Renault ZOE customers continue to receive a free fast-charging wallbox
Wallbox adds to Renault ZOE’s ease of ownership
Offer is unique in the UK electric vehicle market place
Represents a customer saving of nearly £500
Renault ZOE attracts maximum £4,500 support in new PiCG categories
Following the announcement of the changes to the Government Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) and Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, Renault is to continue its unique customer offer of supplying a free fully-installed fast-charging wallbox to new ZOE customers1.
Available to retail customers, the 7kW charging wallbox is supplied and installed by Renault’s partner, Chargemaster, at the customer’s domestic address as part of the price of the Renault ZOE. Chargemaster is the UK’s most successful supplier and operator of charging equipment, having shipped more than 45,000 charging points in the last five years across the UK and nine European countries from its dedicated UK-based manufacturing facilities. This offer is unique in the UK electric vehicle market place and tops-up the Government grant towards a domestic charger, saving the customer nearly £500.
As of 1st March 2016, the Office Low Emission Vehicles has revised the PiCG support for the three pre-existing categories2 and now gives the greatest financial incentive to vehicles that emit 0g/km CO2 and have a zero emission range of 70 miles or over. ZOE is in category 1 as it exceeds these criteria and therefore attracts the maximum £4,500 support level. Vehicles in categories 2 and 3 now receive £2,500 – under the previous PiCG rules all categories received the same £5,000 amount.
The Chargemaster 7kW Homecharge unit allows ZOE owners to charge their vehicle from flat to full in 3-4 hours at their home. Using the My ZE Inter@ctive timer app customers are able to schedule the time that ZOE is charged and benefit from significantly lower off-peak electricity prices.
Ben Fletcher, Electric Vehicle Product Manager, Groupe Renault UK, commented:
“The Electric Vehicle market is growing at an unprecedented rate, and a big part of that is customers discovering just how cost-effective and easy to live with these cars are. By continuing to provide a home-charging unit installed at the customer’s address, we’re able to ensure that these points are even stronger for the ZOE than the competition, with customers able to fully charge in just 3-4 hours at home as standard.”
ZOE is fitted with a patented Chameleon™ charger that, unlike other EVs, always allows ZOE to make the best use of whatever charging supply is available in order to speed up charging times. ZOE Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge can charge at up to 43kW, meaning that 0 to 80 per cent full can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes, depending on version. ZOE customers benefit from six months’ free membership to the POLAR Plus network, the UK’s largest public network offering access to over 4,000 charging points that span from 3kW-22kW. The ZOE is also able to make full use of nearly 600 rapid AC chargers installed at key nationwide locations, such as motorway service stations.
The ZOE is an all-electric, five-door supermini available in three trim levels that comes with a high level of standard specification, including items such as climate control and sat-nav. ZOE also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and was recently awarded the title of What Car? ‘Best Electric Car for less than £20,000’ for the third consecutive year, and ‘Best Electric Vehicle’ in the Auto Express Driver Power 2015 survey.
The model’s official NEDC range is up to 149 miles – Renault estimates that in real-world driving conditions that this equates to around 106 miles in summer and 71 miles in winter.
ZOE is available to purchase in two ways. Firstly, under a battery hire scheme, where ZOE pricing starts at £13,945 after the Government Plug-in Car Grant with battery leasing from £45 per month. Benefits include a lifetime performance guarantee for the battery and 24/7 roadside assistance – even if you run out of charge.
You can also buy your ZOE outright. ZOE i ‘full purchase’ models start from £18,945 after the Government Plug-in Car Grant, giving the buyer full ownership of the car and battery and no monthly battery lease payment.
Selected ZOE models are also currently available with a number of Renault Selections PCP, hire purchase and cash purchase offers.
Renault offers a range of electric vehicles to suit private and commercial requirements. In addition to the ZOE hatchback, the Renault EV range comprises of the innovative, two-seater Twizy city car, Twizy Cargo that offers a load area of 180 litres and a useful 75 kg payload, and the Kangoo Z.E and Kangoo Maxi Z.E vans that combine the same generous load capacity and options as the equivalent diesel versions with ultra-low running costs.
In 2015, Renault was the European market leader for electric cars, with ZOE, and with electric vans, with Kangoo Van Z.E., and sold a total of 23,086 units EVs (including Twizy).
In the UK, 2015 ZOE sales more than doubled (up by 102 per cent) to 2,053 vehicles, significantly outpacing the UK electric vehicle market, which was up 48 per cent on 2014. ZOE is the second best-selling electric car in the UK representing one in five EVs sold.
Novotel and Ibis hotels in the UK will this year begin installing electric vehicle charging points which will be available to guests free of charge.
The announcement was made by AccorHotels, a French hotel operator of nearly 3,800 hotels worldwide.
Accor is collaborating with Chargemaster on the installation, and says the power points will incorporate the latest technology enabling drivers to replenish their vehicle batteries – either 7kw or 22kw – in one hour. They can charge both 7-kilowatt and 22-kilowatt batteries.
Accor managing director for the UK and Ireland, Thomas Dubaere, said that AccorHotels recognises that some of its customers are embracing low-emission vehicles and, consequently, charging points would be installed at its affiliated premises across the UK.
Chargemaster is to install EV charging points at AccorHotels Ibis and Novotel hotels across the UK.
The first phase, in 2016, will see 60 hotels receive EV charging points as part of Chargemaster’s Polar network. The charging points will be free to use for Ibis and Novotel visitors to charge their electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The charging points will be 22kW or 7kW fast chargers, enabling electric cars to be charged in 60 minutes.
However, residents are likely to take full advantage of the facility for charging their EVs overnight.
Chargemaster CEO David Martell said:
“This is a major step forward in the provision of destination charging in the UK. Hotels are one of the obvious locations where EV drivers have a fundamental need for charging facilities and we are delighted to work with AccorHotels to achieve this.”
He added: “We expect hotels to adopt electric vehicle charging as a customer service in the same way that they have provided wifi across the board.”
Thomas Dubaere, managing director of AccorHotels UK and Ireland said:
“As a leading operators of hotels across the UK, we are always looking at ways to enhance and improve facilities for our guests.
“We recognise that many of our customers are adopting low-emission vehicles and we need to provide charging points at our hotels to accommodate them.
“In providing a national rollout of this service, AccorHotels continues to lead the field in customer service and our commitment to sustainable development.”
AccorHotels is the first major hotel chain to recognise the increasing need to install charging points to accommodate the growing population of business and leisure motorists using low-emission vehicles to visit their hotels.
Chargemaster launched its new Ultracharger at the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle 2015 event (Wednesday 9th September), with a host of new innovations for the rapid charger.
The Ultracharger can use Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras to automatically authorise and start charging a car that has been logged into the system. The unit can also be used with an RFID card or even by using a contactless debit or credit card.
Featuring a lightweight and compact design, the unit will not need planning permission in many cases, and a large touchscreen will help make the user interface accessible. The system can also be set up to send a text message to drivers, letting them know when their charge is complete.
The Ultracharger’s three cable design has been designed to be compatible with all EVs on the market in the UK that charge up to 50kW and is also able to retract the cables to keep the unit tidy.
Chargemaster CEO David Martell said:
“We’ve always been at the forefront of electric vehicle charging, and we’re proud to unveil the Ultracharger, which takes the industry a massive step forward in terms of modernisation.
“We are proud to be able to manufacture these in the UK, supporting the local economy, while offering high-quality good-value rapid chargers to the electric vehicle market. With a host of innovations, such as automatic number plate recognition and contactless payments, the Ultracharger will make life even easier for EV owners.”
Business Minister Anna Soubry, who unveiled the new Ultracharger, said:
“Research and development is vital to the long-term productivity and growth of our successful automotive industry, and will help companies secure a big share of growing international markets like low carbon and electric vehicles. Ultracharger is a good example of this and I am delighted to unveil it at LCV 2015.”