UK’s largest EV charging firm to install chargepoints at 4,000 hotels

The UK's largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company, Chargemaster, has announced it will host a new network of 4,000 EV chargepoints at British hotels and B&Bs as part of a partnership with motoring organisation the AA.

Chargemaster, which made headlines last month when it was purchased by oil giant BP, said in a statement that the move to expand its POLAR network of EV chargers will see thousands of 50kW rapid chargepoints installed across the UK in the coming months.

The first charger was unveiled at the Sandford Springs Hotel in Kingsclere, Hampshire, earlier this month, with thousands more AA-inspected hotels and B&Bs set to be fitted with the technology.

Chargemaster’s chief executive, David Martell, said the move would help spur the uptake of EV infrastructure among hoteliers, as he believes that all UK hotels will “offer EV charging, just like they provide Wi-Fi”, within the next five years.

Echoing Martell’s sentiments, AA president Edmund King added that the organisation has “witnessed enormous changes in both the automotive and hotel sectors over the last 110 years” as the EV revolution continues to gather pace.

The move, which will see any AA-inspected establishment that wishes to take up the offer evaluated by Chargemaster, comes after research by the charging firm revealed that 90% of EV drivers will seek out leisure and hospitality destinations which are fitted with charging infrastructure before choosing where to go.

It also comes shortly after plans to build the UK’s first battery storage and rapid EV charging network, which will see 45 new battery sites developed nationwide at electricity sub-stations, was unveiled by the National Grid. The project forms the world’s biggest network of grid-scale 50MW batteries.

Charging ahead

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Bloomberg NEF) has predicted that EVs will account for more than half of new car sales by 2040, with its most recent analysis finding that “the EV revolution is going to hit the car market even harder and faster” than it anticipated in 2017.

However, the Bloomberg NEF research noted that the pace of the shift away from petrol and diesel could be hindered by far slower investment growth in infrastructure. Similarly, the Department for Transport has identified a lack of charging infrastructure as one of the three biggest barriers to EV adoption in the UK, along with distance travelled per charge and vehicle cost. 

Nonetheless, research from Nissan, one of the leaders of the EV transition, estimates that there will be more EV charging stations than petrol stations in the UK within four years – with Shell and BP already moving to fit their forecourts with EV rapid chargers. 

Sarah George

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