New electric vehicle charging points have been installed at Heathrow Airport under a new partnership between POD Point, manufacturer of the units, and APCOA Parking.
The units are available to all drivers of electric vehicles looking to park at the airport.
“This partnership agreement has the potential to be a game changer for the EV industry in the UK, and not only in volume,” says Erik Fairbairn, CEO of POD Point. “Working with APCOA means access to EV will be granted to a huge section of the population at various touch points in their daily life, as well as putting a measure in place to generate footfall in retail centres and provide added services that encourage customer retention for businesses. Our mission is to have a POD Point everywhere people park for an hour or more and today’s announcement means we are a step closer to making that vision a reality.”
Kim Challis, Regional Managing Director for UK & Ireland, APCOA, adds: “At APCOA we’re passionate about sustainable travel and the future of electric vehicles. I’m proud to be embarking on this exciting new partnership with POD Point. APCOA is the parking provider of choice to hundreds of organisations across the UK and Ireland, and our broad network will open up EV chargers to new motorists and support the wider take-up of electric vehicles.”
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.
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.”
New technology is not just disrupting existing industries, it’s creating entirely new ones. Today we speak with Erik Fairbairn, the man behind POD Point, the UK’s leading provider of electric car charging points…
Fairbairn founded POD Point in 2009, two years before electric vehicles were even on the market. Since then it has shipped more than 20,000 chargepoints to over 15 counties – charging 10 million miles of electric vehicle driving in the process. In 2014, and then again in 2015, POD Point turned to crowdfunding, where it raised a total of £3.7 million and the company has recently been featured in the Tech Track 100.
Freshly created sectors such as this present CEOs, like Fairbairn, with handfuls of risk, opportunity and challenges. So what advice would he give to start-ups trying to make their mark in such unexplored territory?
What challenges have you faced in getting POD Point up and running?
We launched POD Point in 2009. Unfortunately there weren’t any electric cars available then; in fact the first widely available electric car, the Nissan Leaf, didn’t arrive until 2011. It was then another three years until electric vehicles started to take off.
As you can imagine, selling electric vehicle charge points into a market which had no electric cars was quite a challenge!
Of course today the electric vehicle (EV) seems like a forgone conclusion, but back in 2009 it was quite a wild statement to suggest 85 per cent of us would all be driving EVs within 20 years. This meant that persuading people to join the POD Point team was immensely difficult. We were asking staff to take quite a risk on what was a rather outlandish prediction about the imminent arrival of the electric car!
Recently, POD Point, a supplier of electric vehicle charging stations, launched a fresh network of public charging stations in the UK.
The new public charging network will enable more convenient charging of electric vehicles. Business Green brings us the story, continuing,
“The new Open Charge network will allow EV owners to charge their cars via POD Point’s website or mobile app. It replaces the old POD Point system where users were required to scan an RFID card to initiate charging.”
Swiping a card isn’t all hat hard, but eliminating one more card from your wallet and allowing easy access via your smartphone is certainly a step forward, making charging even quicker and easier.
Erik Fairbairn, a founder of POD Point, points out how this move is about engaging more people to consider electric vehicles.
“We know that highly reliable, widely available and simple-to-use charging infrastructure will drive forward the take-up of electric vehicles,” he said. “We have listened really closely to the queries and pain points of our users, and we now have a system that is incredibly simple to use, even for new EV drivers.”
[From 9 April] With the Office of Low Emissions (OLEV) updating it’s EV Homecharge scheme at the start of next week, many charge point manufacturers have revised their offers on electric car charging points.
Although, the government will still be supporting the installation of charging points at homes across the UK, the grant has been capped at £700 as opposed to £900. Full details on what is on offer from the government under the new EV Homecharge scheme can be found on the OLEV website.
With less money on the table from the government this means that unfortunately for new EV drivers or those looking to get an EV there are no longer any charge point manufacturers offering domestic units and installation for free.
Having said that, there is still a substantial subsidy being offered which means home charging points are still relatively inexpensive to have installed; especially since EV drivers will be recouping the money almost immediately by avoiding petrol stations.
POD Point and Chargemaster both offer 3kW dedicated home charging units for under £200, incluing full installation. There is also the option to upgrade to a 7kW fast unit for around £100 extra.