InstaVolt has offered to install rapid chargers on fuel retailers forecourts for free, thereby saving them significant capital costs while enabling them to make money from the sale of electricity used by drivers.
The UK Government's new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill received its first reading in the House of Commons last week. If it passes into law, it will require large fuel retailers and motorway services to install electric vehicle chargers on their premises. However, a report by consultancy firm Rapleys has indicated that the cost to the fuel retailing industry could easily exceed £250 million, while another report from UK Power Networks suggests that the cost of installing a rapid charger on one site alone could be at least £60,000.
The industry has expressed concern about these costs, and also about the apparent lack of clarity over the definition in the Bill of 'large retailers'. In response to these concerns, electric vehicle (EV) charging firm InstaVolt has offered to install rapid chargers for free.
InstaVolt is based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The company installs and maintains rapid EV chargers at no cost and even gives landowners who install chargers a rental income for the use of the small amount of land required for installation and operation. This model has already proved successful for councils and business parks across the UK, enabling the company to work with partners across a number of sectors, including local authorities, national gym chains and forecourt operators.
“Some businesses we speak to can’t quite get their heads around the idea of us installing chargers for free" said InstaVolt CEO Tim Payne. "We’ve had a few councils turn us away initially because they think it’s too good to be true; installing charging points at no cost to the taxpayer. We want to reassure fuel retailers that the implications of the new Automated Vehicles Bill needn’t cost them a penny. We can handle everything from obtaining planning permission to upgrading the chargers as technology evolves. What’s more they can actually make a rental income from it.”
Payne added that putting electric vehicle chargers on forecourts can actually bring more benefits to fuel retailers and motorway services, in that retailers can see more 'dwell time' with drivers typically spending half an hour waiting for their vehicle to charge. They will often spend money as they do so. Given that drivers are themselves actively seeking EV charge points, forecourt operators can benefit from increased footfall.
InstaVolt signed a multi-million pound deal with US charging giant ChargePoint earlier this year to purchase more than 200 of its electric vehicle rapid charging systems. The chargers can be upgraded as battery technology evolves, effectively future proofing the assets and providing reassurance to drivers for years to come.
Unlike many other charging points, InstaVolt’s are available for all electric vehicle drivers to use on a pay-as-you-go, no subscription basis. Drivers simply tap their contactless debit card and charge up.