Chargemaster and the AA partner up to tackle EV problems

Chargemaster and the AA partner up to tackle EV problems


A new partnership between the AA and Charagemaster is set to help boost sales of electric vehicles. In the first partnership of its kind, the Automobile Association and EV charge point specialists will combine to provide discounted charging, increased access to home charge points, an information campaign, and the roll-out of charge points at AA-rated hotels.

According to research conducted through AA members, 96 per cent of motorists don’t know the real cost of running an EV. This is despite the association’s members buying habits predicting that more than 500,000 plug-in vehicles will be on UK roads by 2020.

To combat this, the AA and Chargemaster will be attempting to overcome misconceptions with an information campaign that highlights the benefits of EV use and ownership. The partnership will also have practical financial impact on AA members with a discount worth more than 10 per cent on Chargemaster’s Polar Plus network. This brings monthly membership down by £1 to £6.85.

The number of charge points located at AA-rated hotels is also set to expand dramatically thanks to the partnership. With 2,500 hotels in the UK rated bu the AA, the potential expansion of the EV charging network is huge.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, says: “We think that the EV revolution is about to take off and we want to help consumers understand the benefits of low cost, low emission driving and to show them it is accessible and affordable. Per mile driven an EV is five times cheaper than the average petrol car and carries no vehicle excise duty.

“Modern electric vehicle designs and performance are comparable to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Concerns and regulations about diesel emissions may also prove to be a tipping point. Sales of new ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEV) doubled over the last year. And 63,000 drivers have taken advantage of the plug-in car grant. We expect the market to grow substantially, as buyers overcome their misconceptions.

“The vast number of car journeys are under 25 miles and a third of households have two or more cars. Hence, we estimate that more than two million second cars could be electric tomorrow, with no disadvantages and many cost-saving benefits. The AA’s research also shows that if drivers owned an electric vehicle, three-quarters (75 per cent) would expect to charge it overnight, mainly at home while a quarter (25 per cent) would rely on public charging points away from home.

David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, points out that a significant barrier to electric vehicle ownership is concern that when they reach their destination, drivers will not find a charging point available. This worries 81 per cent of respondents to the AA’s research.

“We want to change that perception,” he says. “This new relationship with the AA will see hundreds more AA branded charging points installed. They’ll go in at AA-rated hotels and other accessible public places such as supermarkets, public car parks and town centres while we will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to show that charging a vehicle at home is neither difficult or costly.”

Edmund King concluded: “The facts speak for themselves. The cost of electric vehicles is coming down and the £4,500 government grant helps make them competitive. Myths about batteries not lasting long have been blown away by use. Some of the earliest models have clocked up very high mileages with almost no diminution of battery capacity.

“Modern EVs have a much greater range and battery technology is advancing as fast as the cost is falling. Most family saloon cars will drive for 80 to 100 miles without difficulty, well over the average journey length. EV performance is startling – top-range vehicles will accelerate faster than sports cars and provide all the creature comforts.

“This is the future of motoring and we are proud to be launching this initiative with Chargemaster today. Now is the time to charge up the EV revolution.”