Inhabitat has long followed the progress of the electric car – from the spectacular Tesla Roadster to the more utilitarian Nissan Leaf (although the Leaf has its moments!), with various others in between. One of the issues delaying the rapid uptake of the electrical vehicle has been “range anxiety” due to the mileage available per charge and the lack of charging infrastructure in place.
Speaking at the launch last week, POD point chief executive Erik Fairbairn said that existing networks were hampered either by small regional distribution or high membership fees. The roll out of the company’s Solo-2 charging points aims to address these issues. They require no membership fee or annual charges – instead they use a simple pay-as-you-go scheme where you pay for the electricity you use. The charging points are also available for anyone with an electric vehicle to use. The network is heavily subsidized by the Government´s “Plugged in Places” scheme in certain regions, which aids it in growing rapidly country-wide.
The planned system is to some degree based on London’s Oyster Card, which is used for public transport within the city. However, POD plans to dispense with the smart card and use mobile phones as a means to both locate the nearest charge points and pay. The app for your phone can be downloaded, and access to the network simply requires you to begin with a small refundable balance in your account. You can make payments to the charging points via SMS text message, which makes the job of keeping your vehicle topped up as seamless as possible.
Charging points have been strategically placed near airports, stations and logistical hubs, as well as supermarkets in towns and service stations throughout the road network to make them as visible as possible and encourage a shift in consumer attitudes. With Electric London cabs being unveiled recently, and various logistics fleets considering switching to EV´s, this sounds like a well considered move that could provide a timely boost to the economy and point the way to a more sustainable and ecologically sound future.
Via Business Green