POD Point launches UK-wide PAYG charging network
Free to join, with no monthly fee and requiring a refundable £10 balance for account activation, the PP PAYG network will use SMS text to access charging points and stop and start charging cycles, providing electric and hybrid vehicle drivers with the first nationwide, card-less charging network.
The network’s system is based on the Oyster model introduced by Transport for London, which provides seamless system allowing occasional passengers the same convenience as daily commuters, without the overhead of a monthly charge.
POD Point CEO Erik Fairbairn said: ‘The case for nationwide PAYG is strong. Most electric or hybrid vehicle owners use public charge points occasionally, in areas they don’t visit every day – yet existing charging schemes are either regional, or charge a high monthly fee regardless of use.’
Fairbairn says the network will have more than 750 charge bays by the end of the year, claiming it will be the largest UK public charging network. By the end of 2012 charging points belonging to Plugged in Places regions such as Source East and Plugged-in-Midlands networks will also be accessible via PP PAYG network. From 2013 all newly installed POD Point charge points will be on the network, increasing the number of charging points to over 4,000 by 2014.
Registration (either online or by phone) involves providing credit card and mobile phone details and loading a refundable balance of £10 onto the account. Billing will be to the credit card provided on registration, and drivers will be able to monitor their account through a secure online portal provided by the POD Point network.
Many public charge points are currently free to use, but still require registration prior to use. A large number of charge points will remain free to use under the new PAYG scheme, but with the added benefit of being able to charge without a membership card or pre-registering days before.