Launch of the UK’s first privately funded nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network

July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011

Chargemaster plc, the leading provider of EV charging infrastructure in Europe, has announced that it is to launch POLAR in September 2011 which will be the UK’s first privately funded nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The roll out of POLAR will initially be in approximately 100 towns and cities across the UK providing 4,000 fully installed electric vehicle charging bays by the end of 2012.


In each of the 100 towns and cities, POLAR will operate around 40 publically available charging bays and this will provide a core strategic nationwide infrastructure enabling electric cars to be bought and used in many towns that previously were not practically equipped for electric cars. The 4,000 unit network is designed to build on and complement the Government supported Plugged in Places (PiPs) programme which is focused on eight locations in the UK.

POLAR will initially launch in over 50 towns over the next nine months complimenting the 8 PiP areas. Chargemaster with the support of the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is working with the each PiP areas to ensure interoperability for EV drivers right across the country, thereby enabling motorists to access all charging facilities even when signed up to a different network.

By creating the most comprehensive charging infrastructure in the world it is expected that motor manufacturers will increasingly use the UK as the launch markets for their new ultra low carbon car models.

POLAR is entirely privately funded with no Government or local authority financial support. Access to the POLAR charging network will be by a small monthly membership subscription and a payment of 90 pence each time a charging unit is used. This provides “fuel” for up to 100 miles of electric car driving compared with around £20 for 100 miles in a comparable petrol or diesel car.

Every location will enable cars to use the latest Type 2 connectors providing a 7 kW fast charge. All units are three phase 21 kW ready which will enable users to charge cars such as the new Renault range in about one hour in the future. In addition around 20% of all POLAR charging bays will be designated to incorporate “wireless” charging in the future using inductive charging in conjunction with the Company’s partner Halo IPT. Chargemaster has designed all of its charging units to be future proof ensuring that the infrastructure deployed will have a life of at least 15 years at which stage it is widely expected anticipated that there will be between 1m and 2 million electric cars in everyday use in the UK.

Chargemaster in major rollout in Amsterdam

Chargemaster has won a significant contract to suppy Nuon Energy with a minimum of 250 charging bays to be installed and operated in the City of Amsterdam. Nuon Energy is part of the Vattenfall group, one of the largest energy providers in Europe.

Amsterdam plans one of the largest schemes to promote the use of electric vehicles in Europe with expectations to attract 200,000 electric vehicles.  The Netherlands has already been designated by Nissan to be one of the key European markets for the Leaf, the 2011 car of the year.

Chargemaster recently won the tender to partner with Nuon alongside Heijmans who will be responsible for installing the charging stations. The first units are being delivered for installation within the next month.  


Edited by: Paul Whittaker, Editor, [email protected]   

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July 28, 2011

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