UK charging providers set up lobby group ChargeUK
In the UK, 18 of the country’s leading charging infrastructure providers have joined forces in a new organisation called ChargeUK. The companies want to invest more than six billion pounds in developing and operating charging infrastructure in the UK by 2030.
According to a statement, ChargeUK sees itself as the “voice of EV charging” and thus wants to give its member companies a greater say in politics and negotiations. The 18 founding members of ChargeUK are, in alphabetical order: Be.EV, Believ, BP Pulse, Char.gy, ChargePoint, Connected Kerb, ESB, Evyve, Fastned, Genie Point, Gridserve, Ionity, Mer, Osprey, Pod Point, PoGo Charge, Raw Charging and Shell Recharge.
These companies announced investments totalling more than £6 billion. Tens of thousands of new chargers are to be built before the end of 2023 to double the size of the national charging network by the end of this year.
ChargeUK says it will now work with the government and other stakeholders to break down barriers and shape the policies and regulations needed to make the transition. “The formation of ChargeUK is an exciting day and is a demonstration of the electric vehicle charging industry’s growing size and importance to the UK economy,” said Osprey CEO Ian Johnston, who is also ChargeUK’s chairman. “We will continue to be a proactive partner to Government as we deliver a world-class charging infrastructure, giving the nation’s drivers confidence to transition to electric vehicles.”
In an interview with Autocar, the CEOs of the founding members explained why working together was essential, even though they are still in competition with each other and would try to get customers to use their chargers. But, as Gridserve CEO Toddington Harper explains, “almost every issue of speed of implementation is down to the speed of grid connections.” And while he acknowledges that that was designed for “completely different purposes,” it is the reason why charge point operators often have to wait a long time for a connection. He hopes that together they can raise the government’s awareness and push for change more effectively.
Transport Decarbonisation and Technology Minister Jesse Norman also spoke at the launch: “Our commitment to decarbonising transport, backed by hundreds of millions in funding, has helped to unlock private sector investment, and the ambitious plans of ChargeUK’s members will support more people than ever make the transition to EV,” he said.