Adding to the UK’s charging infrastructure

13th December 2017

Adding to the UK’s charging infrastructure

The InstaVolt network consists of rapid DC chargers. Here, we explain why we have taken a DC-only approach.

When we set up InstaVolt we saw a clear gap in the market to build a nationwide, reliable and easy to use public network of rapid chargers that would be relevant to EV drivers long into the future.

Having made this business case, we raised an initial £12m of private equity funding. We do not use any public money, either central government or local authority. We install, own and operate our chargers with our own cash, and that is why we have taken a longer-term view of future EV development when building our network.

When deciding what charging technology to install, we spoke with car manufacturers to understand their EV roadmaps. From these conversations, it is our view that the next generation of EVs will use DC charging technology, and that AC only charging will quickly become legacy technology.

Our DC chargers are well-placed to delivered ever-faster charging rates, so as battery technology develops and battery capacities increase we can upgrade our chargers to deliver higher charge rates, up to 350kW. This means we won’t be left with redundant assets in the ground, and our network is future proofed. This is great news for EV drivers as vehicles continue to evolve.

There are too few DC chargers to meet forecast demand. This is a concern for prospective EV buyers, government and manufacturers alike. This is why we firmly believe that installing DC chargers is the correct strategy to pursue.

We recognise, however, that by pursuing this DC only strategy there are some vehicles that we cannot support today, but for many drivers we are creating another network affording them greater choice.

The diversity of the existing charger infrastructure, whether this is manufacturer specific (such as Tesla’s Supercharger network) or slow, fast and rapid chargers, all contribute to growing consumer confidence and ultimately promote the uptake of EVs. Furthermore, markets are more efficient when there is more competition amongst network operators, resulting in a better deal for EV drivers.

We’re proud to be supporting the uptake of electric vehicles today, but even prouder to know that we’re building a network that will serve the majority of EV drivers for years to come.