The operator of the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the UK, Chargemaster, has taken responsibility for operating and maintaining all 124 EV charging points across parking provider Q-Park’s London facilities.
In the last three years, there has been a remarkable increase in demand for electric vehicles in London and across the UK. The latest figures from the UK government’s ‘Go Ultra Low’ group shows the number of plug-in cars on the country’s roads increased from fewer than 7,000 in 2013 to nearly 70,000 in the first half of July 2016, with 19,252 electric cars registered so far in this year, a year-on-year increase of 31.8%.
According to predictions by the AA, there will be more than 500,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in use by 2020. To meet this increased demand, Q-Park’s new partnership with Chargemaster will ensure charging points are maintained to the highest standard, with additional and updated charging points installed as required.
In an agreement between the two companies, the charging points will become part of the Polar public charging network, which is operated by Chargemaster and comprises more than 4,000 charging points across the UK, boasting a serviceability record that exceeds 98%. Under the new partnership, chargers at Q-Park’s sites across London will be upgraded to the latest specification units and fully maintained by Chargemaster. The company also plans to install additional charging points in the coming months to keep pace with demand from a growing number of EV owners and Q-Park customers.
Q-Park has seen a massive year-on-year growth of EV customers, especially in London, and offers a range of flexible, cost effective season tickets, including 50% discount for electric vehicle parkers. To access the Q-Park charging points, motorists need to join the Polar network, which has a monthly subscription of £7.85 (US$10.44) per month, and free membership for the first six months. Membership enables motorists to gain access to all 4,000 charging points across the UK. To reflect the increase in charge point usage, a small charge will be levied to recover the cost of electricity at just £0.09 (11 cents) per kWh, which is less than the average cost of domestic electricity.
“We have always been keen to encourage EV motoring in London, and have invested significantly to build a network of 124 charging points across our 20 sites,” said Adam Bidder, managing director of Q-Park UK and Ireland. “Our new partnership with Chargemaster allows us to offer customers a higher level of reliability, and to further expand our network in the future.”
David Martell, Chargemaster’s CEO, commented, “Today’s growing number of EV owners in major cities and across the UK expects to find an available, fully-functioning, charging point wherever they park. This is something that we believe is paramount to the sustained uptake of EVs, so we are glad that Q-Park customers will now be able to take advantage of the latest charging technology, and our market-leading reliability rate of more than 98%.”