I don’t know about other EV drivers, but sometimes EV charging can feel less than safe. Dark stations, strange characters hanging out nearby, and broken equipment can make it feel like bad things could happen. Worse, charging operators often don’t know about the issues or catch them after way too long. That’s why this latest news from our friends over in the UK is so awesome.
One of the United Kingdom’s biggest networks of rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging points, Osprey Charging, has joined forces with ChargeSafe, a public charging endorsement body that independently inspects and ranks EV charging stations.
“We have long been supporters of what ChargeSafe stand for and we’re proud to become the first CPO to subscribe to its thorough, EV charging location rating system. We are committed to to providing safe, reliable and accessible EV charging for all,” said Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging. “That means well-lit sites, the best chargers and the ability for wheelchairs and anyone with mobility requirements to have the space and access to charge, pay and enjoy our facilities. Working with ChargeSafe means we can ensure that accessibility and safety are prioritised at all of our new sites, whilst giving us the insight to rectify other areas of our network that should be upgraded.”
This year, ChargeSafe is assessing and grading all of the UK’s charging sites based on 63 criteria for safety and accessibility, with public ratings out of five provided. Osprey may examine the specific data behind the grades to identify areas where it can improve its charging service for clients by subscribing.
The ‘ChargeSafe’ accessibility requirements have been created in accordance with the BSI draft PAS1899 standards for accessible charge points (co-sponsored by Motability and the Department for Low Emission Vehicles). The simple rating system will give drivers more informed charging choices both day and night, thanks to comprehensive safety parameters such as lighting, CCTV, and easy payment options.
“The aim of ChargeSafe is to support the public charging networks to identify areas for improvement with greater accuracy, championing what’s being done well and ultimately leading to a more inclusive charging experience for the UK.” Said ChargeSafe Co-Founder, Kate Tyrrell. “We’re delighted to be working with a leading nation-wide charging network such as Osprey and we hope other CPOs follow suit soon to give drivers better charge options when considering their safety and accessibility needs.”
The new site at the Paisley Pear, an 8-charger, high-power hub, was the first of Osprey’s new accessibly designed hubs to be examined by ChargeSafe. It earned a pre-launch rating of 4.46 out of 5, with the best accessibility score yet recorded on the UK network. With 2021 set to see a boom in sales of EVs, it is hoped that other networks will follow Osprey’s lead in making inclusive and accessible charging a priority.
“Accessible, safe and reliable charging is going to be critical for the continued uptake of electric vehicles.” said James Court, CEO of Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England. “ChargeSafe’s commitment to improving safety and accessibility at chargers is second to none and we are so glad to see Osprey be the first CPO to step up and show how important safety and accessibility are to their customers.”
If more charging providers did something like this, life would be a little nicer and a little safer for EV drivers.
Featured image provided by ChargeSafe.
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