Next, the retail giant, is the latest company to embrace Rolec’s ‘EV Charge Online’ service, with the provision and management of their electric vehicle charging network.

Rolec EV recently confirmed that Next had commissioned a second phase of charge point installations featuring Rolec’s EV Charge Online system, which provides all EV drivers with access to charging points using their smart phones instead of traditional and more restrictive RFID cards. Furthermore, payment can be completed using Visa, Mastercard, Amex and PayPal.

EV Charge Online is an alternative and forward-thinking system of managing and interacting with electric vehicle charging points and charging networks. According to Rolec, this gives the host full control of their own charge points enabling them to set their own tariff and monitor both real time and historical charging activity.

However, the real leap forward for the EV charging industry is that each and every plug-in vehicle driver can use the charging points without ever having to become a member of a specific charging network and therefore no longer has to pay costly membership, subscription or connection fees.

To date, Rolec EV (a UK manufacturer based in Lincolnshire) has manufactured and supplied more than 55,000 charging points in a variety of different formats including its EV Charge Online and SmartCharge ranges, and recently launched its StreetCharge range of EV charging streetlights.

Rolec EV’s Managing Director Kieron Alsop commented:

“We are delighted that Next has chosen to adopt our philosophy of EV charging. For years I personally have been campaigning that an EV driver should not have to pay membership, subscription and connection fees to a charge point network operator.

“I have sat in front of government officials, and even ministers, trying to bring to their attention to the business model that the majority of charge point network operators are adopting in being paid artificially high rates to have their charge points installed. Once this is done they then exploit the EV driver into paying annual, monthly, and by-the-charge connection fees before even paying for the charge itself.

“I must have said a thousand times to anyone that would listen, ‘why should an EV driver be expected to pay all these fees, when an ICE driver filling their tank with petrol or diesel does not have to be a member of Shell or BP and therefore does not have to pay these extortionate fees? They simply pay for what goes in the tank’.”

Alsop continued:

“If these subscription networks get a grip on the EV charging industry they will squeeze every penny they can get out of the EV driver, and also drive up host license and operating fees, which will in turn dramatically reduce the uptake of EVs and stagnate the industry as a whole in the UK.

“Unfortunately the powers that be spend a lot of time mumbling and nodding in my, and other concerned parties’, general direction about this subject but do not seem to have the foresight or appetite to take the challenge on.

“We at Rolec EV have decided to do something about it and have developed our own answer to the issue by developing EV Charge Online, which allows charge points to be installed by anybody in any number. These charge points also instantly become part of a people’s charging network.

“This allows the host, council, business, etc. to set their own tariffs and, while EV Charge Online still manages their charge points for them, ensures they have full visibility and overall control – and no longer have to pay license or connection fees.

“EV Charge Online is even more beneficial for the EV driver, with NO more subscription fees, NO more membership fees and NO more connection fees. The EV driver can simply cancel that membership and Direct Debit, and at last only pay using their mobile phone for the charge advertised on the charging point – which is just as it should be.

“I appreciate that the EV Charge Online network is only a few hundred charging points strong since its official launch earlier this year, but everything has to start somewhere and we are growing the network daily so that numbers will be in the thousands very soon.

“A further positive point about EV Charge Online is that it can be retro-fitted to existing charging points – so if you have an RFID charging network in your town, city or business we can quickly convert them to the new people’s charging network, which works for EV drivers, charge point operators – and the industry as a whole.”

For more information about EV Charge Online go to www.rolecserv.com/ev-charging

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