A new partnership between Chargemaster (now part of BP) and the AA announced on Tuesday 31 July will offer all 4,000 AA hotels and B&Bs electric vehicle (EV) charging points, to be installed free of charge. The first business to take up the offer was Sandford Springs Hotel in Hampshire, which now offers EV charging to guests and visitors via a Chargemaster 50kW rapid charger.
According to research by Chargemaster, 90% of EV drivers will seek out destinations that have charging points over those that don’t. The company said that this will provide an additional draw for hotels as the EV market continues to develop. Chief Executive of Chargemaster David Martell said: “We believe that within the next five years, all hotels will offer EV charging, just like they provide Wi-Fi today.”
The announcement comes just one month after giants BP acquired Chargemaster – home to the largest EV charging network in the UK. After the £130mn takeover, BP expressed its desire to step up the construction of EV charging points, anticipating soaring electric vehicle ownership in the coming years.
This is clearly an industry that BP sees great potential in. In May, the company invested $20mn into StoreDot, just 4 months after acquiring the US-based company FreeWire Technologies, both of which are specialists in the development of electric vehicles.
StoreDot are serious investors into new-generation batteries for EVs, currently developing a proprietary organic battery capable of charging in 5 minutes and providing a range of 300 miles. FreeWire Technologies also look at delimiting EV ranges through development of mobile charging points, accessible from any part of the UK.
Both StoreDot and FreeWire Technologies are at the forefront of the EV market and, alongside the partnership with Chargemaster and AA, provide exciting prospects for BP and for the automotive industry as a whole.