POD Point has launched the next generation of its public charging network, POD Point Open Charge.
Open Charge aims to make charge points more accessible using free-to-use web and mobile apps.
The target is to supply around 1,000 new Open Charge POD Points across the UK as part of its mission to put a POD Point everywhere people park for an hour or more.
It also expects to install 100,000 charge points over the next decade.
Feedback from EV drivers found that access to ultra-reliable and simple to use charge points was the most requested aspect as the industry moves towards a charging tariff, and membership or access cards were less popular.
Open Charge no longer requires the use of RFID cards, and instead the charge points are accessible to all.
The POD Point RFID network will still be online and available to use but POD Point will not be producing RFID units any longer, and will instead move to a simple-to-use app system.
Erik Fairbairn, founder of POD Point said: “We know that highly reliable, widely available and simple-to-use charging infrastructure will drive forward the take-up of Electric Vehicles.
“We have listened really closely to the queries and pain points of our users and we now have a system that is incredibly simple to use, even for new EV drivers.”
A full range of solo and twin charge points allow immediate charging once plugged in. Drivers then have a 15 minute window to access the POD Point Open Charge web or mobile app to confirm their charge. To stop charging they simply return to their car and unplug.
An additional benefit of Open Charge POD Points is that since charging starts immediately, drivers will always have a 15 minute emergency charge, even if they have no mobile phone with them.
POD Point has even tackled the issue of cables being trapped, as they are now released from the car's control panel when the car is not charging.
If a host site chooses to set a tariff to charge, the mobile phone app supports 'pay as you go'. Drivers can top up the app with credit then start charging as usual, with each charge being deducted from their balance.
The charge points, and chargepoint tariffs, will all be viewable on POD Point’s country-wide live availability map on their website.
POD Point has manufactured and sold over 20,000 electric vehicle charge points, and developed one of the UK’s largest public charging networks, connecting EV drivers with 1,500 charging bays nationwide at locations such as Sainsbury’s and Southern Rail.
They have supplied over 16,000 home charge units and supply customers of Renault Norway among many other brands.
They also have more than 500 workplace customers, including high profile companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Britvic and O2 Telefónica. Through these home, workplace and destination charge points they have already powered over 10 million miles of electric vehicle motoring.