Published On: Monday 16 March 2020 09:30

Manx Utilities has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pod Point, one of the UK’s largest providers of electric vehicle charging, to deliver a sustainable public charging network for the Isle of Man.

Under the agreement Pod Point will provide smart electric vehicle chargepoints and supporting technology to Manx Utilities, who will be responsible for installing and maintaining the charging infrastructure.

Currently there are over 20 chargepoints maintained by Manx Utilities across the island, many of which have been operating for numerous years and require refurbishment. Drivers can use Pod Point’s smart phone app to start charging, see chargepoint availability and view their charge history. The chargepoints are also supported by a 24 hour/7 days per week call centre with remote diagnostic capabilities to improve the service offered to customers.

In order to enable an enhanced and expanded chargepoint network to be delivered, a charge of 19 pence per unit (19 pence per 1 kWh, including VAT) will be levied by the chargepoints. This charge has been set to be comparable to Manx Utilities’ standard domestic unit rate and is lower than the tariffs of many operators in the UK. This rate will give a cost per mile of around 5 pence, which compares favourably to the fuel costs of petrol and diesel cars of around 15 pence per mile. The tariff will be reviewed within 12 months to ensure it remains at an appropriate level.

The use of a smart phone to start charging removes the need for drivers to carry any additional RFID cards. Once local drivers have signed up on the Pod Point App they will also be able to use Pod Point’s charging network outside the Isle of Man, for example, when travelling in the UK. Similarly, visiting drivers will be able to view and use the new chargepoints in the Isle of Man. No monthly or annual subscriptions payments are required to access the public charging network.

New chargepoints have been installed at the Arboretum in St Johns, the Commissioners car park in Ballasalla, Port St Mary Town Hall car park and Port Erin Shore Road car park. In the coming months, Manx Utilities will be installing more chargepoints in new locations and replacing its existing chargepoints with the new smart chargepoints.

The Chairman of Manx Utilities, Dr Alex Allinson, MHK said:

“Over the last year, Manx Utilities has been working to develop plans to enable its public charging network for Electric Vehicles to be upgraded and expanded.  We are committed to providing a charging network that meets customers’ needs and supports the Isle of Man’s commitments to reduce emissions. The use of the smart Pod Point charging points are a significant improvement over the older facilities and will provide a better service to all our customers.”

“The introduction of a tariff for using the chargepoints enables investment in a better service for the owners of Electric Vehicles which are significantly cheaper to operate than petrol and diesel cars. I have committed to expand the public charging network to ensure that Manx Utilities encourages the uptake of EVs. Electric Vehicles have zero emissions and so their increased use will improve air quality around our roads as well as help tackle climate change.”

Dan Eyres, Technical Sales Manager at Pod Point said:

“We are pleased to be able to support the Isle of Man at this exciting time and look forward to playing a part in the island’s journey to reduce transport emissions. Pod Point is driven by a belief that travel shouldn’t damage the earth and the expansion of the island’s public charging network will make it easier for drivers to adopt zero emissions vehicles.”