EV charging network operators confirm flurry of new projects – EQ Mag
A day after the auto industry warned the EV charger roll out is struggling to keep up with demand, Gridserve, Rolec EV, and MFG all announce new installation plans
The UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure received a jump-start this week with several leading network operators announcing plans to deploy new charge points across the UK.
The news comes just a day after the auto industry trade body SMMT again warned that the UK charging network is struggling to keep pace with soaring demand for EVs, with the final quarter of 2022 seeing one new public charger installed for every 62 new EVs sold, marking a “significant fall” compared to the same quarter last year when the ratio stood at 1:42.
However, charging providers are rushing to expand their networks and today leading operator Gridserve announced it has opened a further 32 new high power chargers across four of its Electric Super Hub sites.
The new high power chargers are located on the A303 near Stonehenge, where Gridserve recently opened a new site offering eight high power chargers at Solstice Park, on the M23 at Pease Pottage, on the M4 at Reading Westbound, and on the M40 at Cherwell Valley.
Gridserve now has a total portfolio of 173 high power chargers installed across 16 of Electric Superhubs and at two of its dedicated Electric Forecourts. The company added that its electric highway service now covers 169 locations and is currently delivering more than 10 million miles of range to the UK’s EVs every month.
All Gridserve chargers feature both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors, accept contactless payment, and provide real-time status updates to a host of popular EV charging maps, Gridserve said.
“As the demand for electric vehicles and charging increases, it is vital we continue this pace to roll out the installation of High Power chargers to support EV drivers and those making the switch to electric,” said Toddington Harper, Gridserve’s chief executive officer.
The news came in the same week as EV charging technology supplier Rolec EV announced a partnership with EV charging software provider Monta, which aims to deliver over 20,000 new charge points in the UK this year.
Under the partnership, Rolec said its existing and new domestic and commercial charge point customers will gain access to EV charging software solutions developed by Monta. The companies said that they will now embark on a large transition of charge points onto Monta’s platform, and existing customers will also be migrated onto the platform.
Frankie Mellon, Rolec’s sales director, said the partnership will provide customers with a uniformed platform which will now cover domestic, commercial, and public charge points. “Monta is the perfect solution to meet the requirements of our current fleets projects due to be delivered across 2023,” he added. “The partnership will enhance the Rolec portfolio with added features such as 24/7 support, share your charger to generate revenue, car integration, smart queue and charge point reservation, dynamic pricing, and fleet wallet.”
Alok Dubery, UK country manager, Monta, said both companies “share the vision of an interoperable and accessible EV charging network”, which can be used by provate EV owners, businesses, and large corporate fleets.
“Rolec’s flexible and reliable charge points are a perfect fit for Monta’s feature rich software, and will ensure an affordable and pain free charging experience for all Rolec customers,” he added.
The news also came in the same week as Motor Fuel Group (MFG) announced it planned to add 360 ultra-rapid chargers to its network as part of plans to invest £50m in its UK charging network over the coming 12 months.
The company, which claims to be the leading independent forecourt operator in the UK, said the new charge points would add to its existing network of 271 chargers.
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, said the company had opened a record number of EV hubs across its network throughout 2022. “Our investment in 2022 has set us on a positive trajectory,” he said. “We have set ourselves another ambitious target for openings in 2023, with the plan to energise 360 chargers whilst delivering the best experience possible for our customers.”
And in yet more EV infrastructure news, EV charging platform Bonnet has announced it has added the UK’s SureCharge charging network to its app.
The SureCharge Network, which is owned by infrastructure services company FM Conway, operates 2,000 chargers, the large majority of which are in London.
Bonnet said the addition of SureCharge to its platform, which also includes MFG’s network of charge points and and Italian networks Enel X Way and FTX, meant its customers would have access to 25 networks and more than 150,000 devices spanning the whole of the UK and Europe.
“We are very excited to start the new year by adding the SureCharge network to Bonnet as it continues to rapidly grow in the UK,” said Patrick Reich, CEO and co-founder of Bonnet. “SureCharge from FM Conway is a natural partner for Bonnet as we both share the same mission to deliver an accessible and reliable charging experience for all drivers, wherever they are using rapid devices or on-street lamp posts.”