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Private investment vital for charging point rollout, says Chargemaster

Speaking at the company’s round table event in London, Martell said the predicted 5% take-up for EVs by the end of the decade was looking modest, but added that continued growth could be stifled by an overcrowded charging network.

There are around 8,000 public charging points in the UK, according to Zap-Map. Martell believes ongoing roll-out will need to offer destination and en-route charging points, and financing of installation and maintenance can’t be left to government, meaning the private sector will need to step in and in turn that there will need to be a business case for them to do so.

This could include pay-as-you-go charging, monthly membership schemes similar to services like Netflix, or providing charging while using facilities – such as at a hotel, supermarket or restaurant – like the widespread provision of WiFi. But these could be challenged by free-to-use public sector networks, which would undermine the business case for private investment.

“If you open a pub selling beer, and someone opens one across the road selling for free, then it screws your market,” Martell explained. “In the next five years we need three times the infrastructure to support the growth of the EV market, but that won’t happen if there’s no business model.”

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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