One of the UK’s largest owner/managers of convenience and community-focused shopping centres is installing rapid electric vehicle chargers at its sites.

NewRiver REIT has an eight million sq ft portfolio of retail and leisure assets across the UK, and is working with electric car charging firm InstaVolt, to install and maintain rapid chargers at selected sites.

Charging stations are already available to use at NewRiver’s Forum Shopping Centre in Wallsend, North Tyneside and Locks Heath Shopping Village in Fareham, Hampshire.

Installations are under way at four further community shopping destinations owned by NewRiver, at Cuckoo Bridge retail park in Dumfries, Hill Street Shopping Centre in Middlesbrough, The Deeping Centre in Market Deeping and Waterfront Retail Park, Barry. Installations are due shortly at the Sovereign shopping centre, Boscombe. Installations are due shortly at the Sovereign shopping centre, Boscombe.

InstaVolt claims its chargers are so efficient that most electric cars could be charged in the time it takes to have a coffee in one of the centre’s cafes.

Jackie Tracey, commercialisation manager at NewRiver said: “While early days for electric car penetration in the UK, we are seeing an increasing number of electric cars drive into our car parks and it’s important for us to cater for the changing needs of our customers. Convenience is key for our shoppers so we chose to work with InstaVolt after hearing how popular its subscription-free, tap to pay chargers are with electric car drivers. Based on their popularity, we are hopeful that having the InstaVolt chargers will increase footfall as drivers seek out the charging stations.”

InstaVolt installs and maintains its chargers for free and makes its money from the sale of electricity to drivers, and pays its partner landlords a rental income for letting them use space to house the chargers.

InstaVolt CEO Tim Payne said: “It’s proving a popular proposition for retail site owners who are keen to evolve their offering to cater for electric car drivers. It means any capital set aside for installing chargers can be directed elsewhere into further site improvements.”