Pod Point review: Charge while you shop
Dedicated electric vehicle charging bays with distinctive blue markings and signage are popping up in supermarket and gym car parks across the UK. Is this one way to encourage potential electric vehicle users that the change away from fossil fuels can conveniently fit into people's daily lives?
Since the 1920s British motorists have been using dedicated petrol stations to fuel up their vehicles but as the UK starts to move to electric vehicles, charging stations are appearing wherever a car is parked; driveways, on the street, supermarkets, and more. We took a trip to see how one supermarket was adapting to this development through a partnership with Pod Point.
What is Pod Point?
With over 900 public charge points, Pod Point is one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in the UK. Established in 2009, the company believes "travel shouldn't damage the earth" and is looking to build "a network of smart EV charging points everywhere drivers need them."
The majority of the Pod Point charge points are 7kW Type 2 sockets, into which customers connect their charging cable. 7kW is not necessarily fast by today's standards, but it is important to consider how charging will become part of the journey in the future. At 7kW a typical EV should increase its range by 25-30 miles per hour, plenty of additional range for most users whose next destination is likely to be their home. This topping
How does Pod Point work?
The socket only chargers are aesthetically pleasing, compact and nonintrusive. That said most cables are stored in the boot of the vehicle, which is also used by the shopping. Loading the shopping and then our wet and dirty cable on top was not ideal (next time we will go cable first!)
The charge point we visited is conveniently located near the entrance of the store but, like many charge points, was not covered, which became an issue when connecting the cable in the rain and attempting to use the app.
Pod Point offers 15 minutes free charging, which is useful if you are popping in to pick up a small shop, any longer and you need to install the app and set up an account. The app itself is user friendly, but it is a shame contactless payment is not accepted at many of the locations.
With its chargers conveniently located in supermarket and gym car parks, Pod Point is helping the shift to EVs by being at the right location and offering a charging speed that matches the dwell time of the vehicle. Charging while you shop or exercise makes sense and will undoubtedly be one of the many ways we charge our cars in the future.