Marston’s pubs announced plans in December to bring rapid electric vehicle charging points to its 200 restaurant locations across the UK by December 2020.
Now the chain has announced that green supplier Octopus Energy will deliver 100% renewable electricity to the more than 400 planned charging stations.
The charging points, installed by rapid charging network operator Engenie, will give vehicles an 80% charge—enough juice to drive 100 miles—in under a half hour, “the perfect amount of time for customers to enjoy Marston’s hospitality and a bite to eat,” Marston’s said.
The first point has already been installed at The Bakehouse, a Marston’s location in Welwyn Garden City. Octopus Electric Vehicles has offered motorists who live within 15 miles of the location free unlimited charging at the location until June.
Stations are being rolled out to Marston’s locations in cities including Glasgow, Hull, and Maidstone in 2019.
Fiona Howarth, CEO Octopus Electric Vehicles, said: “Octopus is delighted to partner with Engenie, to supply and promote its efficient network at Marston’s restaurants and other great destinations across the country, helping clear up local air pollution and enabling us to move to a zero-carbon transportation.”
Last year, research from motoring association AA found that 80% of drivers said the lack of access to charging stations was the main obstacle in their adoption of electric vehicles. EVs still have just a 3.8% market share in Britain.
RAC echoed AA’s study earlier this month, warning that a “patchy” EV charging network was “putting off drivers.” While the UK now as more than 7,000 public charging stations, they’re distributed unevenly, with average distances between them ranging from 0.16 km in Westminster to 10km in Craven, North Yorkshire.
The automotive services company found that more than a third of local authorities have ten or fewer public charging locations. Just three local authority areas—Milton Keynes, Westminster, and Cornwall—had more than 100 charging points.
The Department of Transport said that 80% of EV charging was done at home but stated that public charging locations were essential for drivers who don’t have access to off-street parking.
The Government, committed to phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and to seeing at least 50% of new vehicle sales be ultra low emissions a decade before that, has announced plans to beef up public charging infrastructure.
It’s offering councils a £2.5 million funding pot to boast their charging networks through the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. But currently only 28 councils have applied for a share of the funds.
In the gap, private businesses are stepping up.
In addition to Marston’s plans, Tesco, in partnership with Volkswagen, has announced plans to install 2,5000 charging bays in 600 stores by 2020. Customers will be able to use standard 7kW chargers for free but will have to pay for a faster service.
Marston’s and Engenie will offer faster 50kW charging stations. There are no connection or membership fees. Customers will pay per kilowatt hour of electricity.
“Reliable rapid charging with 100% green energy is critical for mass adoption of electric cars—supporting people without driveways, and those on longer journeys,” said Octopus’s Howarth.
Last year, Octopus Energy, an energy supplier with 400,000 domestic customers, spun out its electric vehicle division into a standalone business. Now Octopus Energy and Octopus Electric Vehicles have launched Electric Juice, a green electric supply service targeted at the electric transport sector. It will seek to supply renewable electricity at low prices to businesses across the sector, form fleet operators to charging network companies.