Chargemaster (company)

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Chargemaster plc
Public Limited Company
IndustryElectric vehicles
Founded2008
HeadquartersLuton, United Kingdom
Key people
David Martell (CEO)
ProductsElectric vehicle charging infrastructure
Number of employees
200 (2017)
Websitewww.chargemasterplc.com

Chargemaster plc is a supplier of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, based in Luton, England. It provides charging units for home, business and public use, and operates its own electric vehicle public charging network, called POLAR.[1] In 2017, the company acquired the electric vehicle charging point supplier, Elektromotive, including its subsidiary, electric vehicle charging network Charge Your Car,[2] to establish the UK’s largest electric vehicle infrastructure provider.[3]

Chargemaster manufacturers its wall-mounted and floor-standing charging points in its manufacturing plant in Luton, England.[4] It is the only company to manufacture electric vehicle rapid chargers in the UK.[5]

The company has supplied more than 30,000 charging points for electric vehicle drivers’ homes[6] and more than 10,000 public and commercially-operated charging points.[7]

It is a public limited company, with shareholders including the venture capital arm of BMW, BMW i Ventures[8] and technology company, Qualcomm.[9]

In June 2018 BP announced that it had entered into an agreement to buy the company for £130m,[10] with the company to be rebranded BP Chargemaster.[11]

History[edit]

Chargemaster was founded in 2008 by its CEO, David Martell, the former founder and CEO of Trafficmaster.[12]

The company launched its POLAR network of public charging points in 2011.[13] The POLAR network operates more than 5,000 public charging points,[14] over 40% of the total of more than 13,000 charging points in the UK.[15]

In 2012, Chargemaster announced its involvement in a trial of wireless charging for electric vehicles in London, in partnership with Qualcomm.[16]

Chargemaster launched its POLAR Plus subscription scheme in 2015, allowing members to pay a monthly fee for access to its public charging network, with points earned each time a member uses a public charging point, which can be traded for a week-long experience in one of a fleet of electric vehicles operated by Chargemaster, including a BMW i8 and a Tesla Model S.[17]

Chargemaster acquired Hereford-based GB Electrical, a national electrical contractor specialising in the installation of electric vehicle charging points, in 2015.[18] The business had been working with Chargemaster since 2013 and is an authorised installer of charging points installed under both the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme, administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.[19] [20]

Following the acquisition, Chargemaster announced a £15 million investment in its charging network to create 2,000 new charging points, which will include new ways to access the charge points, including contactless payments and automatic number plate recognition, alongside existing access methods of RFID cards and smartphone apps.[21]

Chargemaster has been listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of top performing British companies since 2014.[22]

Products[edit]

Chargemaster charging points at an Asda store in Inverness
A Chargemaster charging point

Charging units[edit]

Chargemaster supplies wall-mounted charging points and floor-standing charging posts with AC power ratings of 3.6kW, 7.2kW and 22kW, and floor-standing rapid chargers, with power ratings of 43kw AC and 50kw DC. The 3.6kW and 7.2kW charging units require a minimum single-phase electricity supply. The 22kW and rapid charging units require a three-phase electricity supply.

Chargemaster launched a new rapid charger in 2015, which is produced in its manufacturing plant in Luton. The Chargemaster ‘Ultracharge’ unit features a 50kW-rated CHAdeMO connector, a 43kw-rated AC Type 2 connector and a 50kW-rated CCS connector.[23]

Home charging[edit]

Chargemaster has official partnerships to provide home charging units for owners of electric vehicles made by several manufacturers, including BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz,[24] Mitsubishi,[25] Nissan,[26] Renault,[27] and Toyota.[28]

The company is also the official home charging partner for The London Taxi Company and will provide charging units for drivers of its forthcoming TX eCity plug-in hybrid taxi.[29]

Chargemaster home charging units are compatible with all electric vehicles approved by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles as eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.[30]

The company’s home charging units are approved by the UK government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles[31] and are eligible for the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK.[32]

Workplace charging[edit]

Chargemaster supplies charge points to workplaces, including supermarkets,[33] councils,[34] local authorities and other businesses.[35]

The company’s workplace charging units are approved by the UK government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles[36] and are eligible for the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme, which subsidises the cost of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations.[37]

Public sector charging[edit]

Chargemaster has installed over 600 charge points for more than 50 local authorities.[38] [39] [40]

In 2016, Chargemaster was awarded a £2.3 million contract to provide additional charging points in Milton Keynes, including for two new petrol-station-style rapid charging hubs.[41]

In 2017, Chargemaster was awarded a contract to supply its new Ultracharge rapid charger under a Transport for London contract to provide public rapid charging points for The London Taxi Company's forthcoming TX eCity plug-in hybrid taxi.[42] The £18 million Transport for London project aims to create a network of 300 rapid charging points in London by 2020.[43]

POLAR public charging network[edit]

Chargemaster operates POLAR, the largest electric vehicle charging network in the UK, operating more than 5,000 public charge points.[44] [45]

The charging network is accessible via either the pay-as-you-go ‘POLAR Instant’ scheme or the monthly subscription ‘POLAR Plus’ scheme, with charging points accessed via an RFID card or fob.[46]

Owners of BMW i models can access the charging points within the POLAR network with membership of the BMW i ChargeNow service.[47]

Electric Vehicle Experience Centre[edit]

In 2017, Chargemaster won the contract from Milton Keynes Council to operate the UK’s first multi-brand electric car showroom, the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, as part of the UK government’s Go Ultra Low Cities programme.[48] [49] [50]

Partnerships[edit]

Chargemaster has partnerships with car manufacturers, hotels, supermarkets and motor industry organisations, including: The AA,[51] Q Park,[52] Waitrose,[53] and Accor for its Novotel and Ibis hotel brands.[54]

Chargemaster installed 78 charge points for the London Fire Brigade, the majority of which are accessible by its staff, but nine of which (at Croydon, East Ham, Edmonton, Finchley, Hainault, Harold Hill, Hornsey, Ilford and New Malden fire stations) are publicly accessible.[55]

The company is the official supplier of charging infrastructure to the FIA Formula E electric motor racing series. Chargemaster facilitates wireless charging of the official course cars, including the BMW i8 safety car and the BMW i3 medical car.[56] [57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome to Chargemaster". GreenFleet. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Chargemaster / Elektromotive merger inquiry". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Zap-Map adds dynamic data across Chargemaster's POLAR EV charging network". Traffic Technology Today. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Chargemaster increase factory capacity and release new fast charge unit". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Unveil for UK's first home-made EV charger". Intelligent Mobility Insight. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Reliability begins at home". The Electric Taxi. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
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  9. ^ "Qualcomm invests in Chargemaster to deploy wireless charging in UK". Charged EVs. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  10. ^ "BP buys UK's largest car charging firm Chargemaster". BBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  11. ^ "BP to acquire the UK's largest electric vehicle charging company". BP. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Chargemaster". Fast Track. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
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  38. ^ "Second electric vehicle charge point installed in Daventry". Daventry Express. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  39. ^ "New electric vehicle charging points rolled out in Haverhill and West Suffolk". Cambridge News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  40. ^ "Milton Keynes reports 300% increase in low-emission vehicles". LocalGov. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  41. ^ "Milton Keynes awards £2.3 million contract to increase EV charging infrastructure". Clean Energy News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  42. ^ "Chargemaster to provide Ultracharge units for London taxis under TfL contract". Fleet Magazine. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  43. ^ "TfL drives forward £18 million electric vehicle scheme". Transport for London. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Public Charging Networks". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  45. ^ "Chargemaster acquires EV infrastructure company". BusinessCar. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  46. ^ "Polar network". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  47. ^ "ChargeNow". ChargeNow. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  48. ^ "Go Ultra Low Cities winners announced". Go Ultra Low. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  49. ^ "Chargemaster to run EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes". Next Green Car. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  50. ^ "Milton Keynes' EV charging infrastructure to be expanded". Adjacent Open Access. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
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  52. ^ "Chargemaster Ultracharger units installed at London Q Park sites". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  53. ^ "Waitrose to install electric charging stations". Fleet News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  54. ^ "Accor to roll out electric car charging at UK hotels". Big Hospitality. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  55. ^ "London Fire Brigade opens vehicle charge points". Air Quality News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  56. ^ "Chargemaster becomes official charging infrastructure supplier to Formula E". FIA Formula E. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  57. ^ "Chargemaster To Power Formula E As Official Charging Infrastructure Supplier". Inside EVs. Retrieved 7 August 2017.

External links[edit]