Charging firm InstaVolt is offering to install rapid chargers on forecourts for free, to save operators from having to make significant capital expenditure, and instead making its money from the sale of electricity used by drivers.

Under the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which received its first reading in the House of Commons last week, large fuel retailers and motorway services will have to install electric vehicle chargers on their premises.

A report by consultancy firm Rapleys earlier this week revealed that the cost to the industry of installing electric charging points could easily exceed £250m. A further report from distribution network operator UK Power Networks Ltd suggested that the cost to install a rapid electric vehicle charger on one site alone would be a minimum of £60,000.

The industry has expressed concern about the cost of such a move and a lack of clarity over the definition of the term ‘large retailers’. But electric vehicle charging firm InstaVolt is offering to install them for free.

The company, headquartered in Basingstoke Hampshire, installs and maintains rapid electric vehicle chargers at no cost, according to its CEO Tim Payne.  It claims to even give landowners who house the chargers a rental income for the use of the small amount of land required. He said the model had proved successful for councils and business parks across the UK, with the company already working with partners across a number of sectors including local authorities, national gym chains as well as forecourt operators.

“Some businesses we speak to can’t quite get their heads around the idea of us installing chargers for free," said Payne. "We’ve had a few councils turn us away initially because they think it’s too good to be true - installing charging points at no cost to the taxpayer.

“We want to reassure fuel retailers that the implications of the new Automated Vehicles Bill needn’t cost them a penny. We can handle everything from obtaining planning permission to upgrading the chargers as technology evolves. What’s more they can actually make a rental income from it.” 

Tim adds that putting electric vehicle chargers on forecourts can actually bring more benefits to fuel retailers and motorway services.

“Retailers can expect to see increased dwell time, as drivers typically spend half an hour waiting for their vehicle to charge, spending money as they do. Drivers are actively seeking EV charge points too so forecourts can benefit from increased footfall.”

InstaVolt signed a multi-million pound deal with US charging giant ChargePoint earlier this year to purchase more than 200 of its electric vehicle rapid charging solutions. The chargers can be upgraded as battery technology evolves, effectively future proofing the assets and providing reassurance to drivers for years to come.

Unlike other equipment, Payne said InstaVolt’s charging points are available for all electric vehicle drivers to use on a pay-as-you-go, no-subscription basis. Drivers simply tap their contactless debit card and charge up.