Charged: 15 questions with... Evyve
In June 2023, Octopus Electroverse partnered with Evyve - the rapid and ultra-rapid charging network, aiming to add 10,000 UK fast chargers by 2030.
With over 150 charging stations already on the network, Evyve is looking to get more and more EV drivers across the UK connected.
To learn more about Evyve (and to chat all things EV and charging), we sat down with Fred Kamstra, the Network Operations Manager.
Let's get plugged in...
Give us a bit of background -- how did Evyve start?
Evyve started as a partnership of two companies invested in implementing the transition to net zero, Peel NRE and Box Energi. With years of experience in developing renewable energy projects such as large-scale wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), we looked for the next big opportunity in decarbonisation and identified the potential for growth in the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Using Peel L&P’s estate as a test case for both AC and rapid charging, we saw that there was a business opportunity in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Soon after installing chargers at Peel L&P’s retail parks and multi-storey car parks, we partnered with leading pub retailer Greene King to really start to expand and give Evyve a national reach.
What does Evyve look to do differently than other charging providers?
We believe that charging should be as easy as possible, it is why we are actively partnering with charge point operators and e-mobility providers to open up our network to as many drivers as possible. Drivers will be able to use their preferred app or charge card to use our charge points. This interoperability will allow the customer to be as comfortable as possible when arriving at one of our charge points for the first time.
In addition to embracing roaming, we offer contactless credit card payments on all our rapid charge points with no need to download our app if you don’t want to.
How does Evyve select charging station locations? And how are these prioritised?
Luckily, our landowner partners have lots of great sites that are complementary to electric vehicle charging - however, the two key considerations for site prioritisation are:
Traffic flow (for obvious reasons) and the services available at a particular location.
Most of our sites are co-located with a pub or restaurant (which are open from breakfast) or in retail parks with many services from coffee shops to gyms.
EV adoption is accelerating at pace, and the demand for more rapid chargers on the public charging network is also increasing - how are Evyve planning to address this?
All our 75 kW chargers have dual charging capability. Dual charging gives drivers greater confidence to stop at one of our locations, as the connector availability is doubled on each charger. We are also installing more CCS connectors and 20 rapid charging hubs just this year. Each hub will have between four and six 150 kW charge points and will be strategically located on the motorway network junctions or in retail parks.
It’s great to see that Evyve chargepoints run on 100% renewable energy - was a rapid network powered by renewables always the goal?
In our view, electric vehicles need to be powered by renewable energy.
Currently, we buy 100% renewable power from our energy supplier but in the future, we want to contract directly with generators, such as solar or wind farms to purchase power. We want to be able to point at the exact place in the UK where our power is generated. We owe that transparency to our customers.
It has been interesting to read about your partnership with Greene King Pubs - with over 3,100 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales - are there any plans for Evyve to build charge points at these locations?
To date, we have installed chargers at 70 pub-restaurants across the UK mainland, stretching from Eastbourne to Aberdeen. We will have installed chargers at 150 Greene King locations by the end of this year, with over 400 charge points installed across their estate. Next year we intend to more than double that!
With more and more people making the switch to EVs, why should they prioritise Evyve chargers?
Our rapid chargers are all dual charging enabled, meaning you are twice as likely to be able to plug in and charge when you get to one of our sites.
How can an Electroverse customer access the Evyve network and activate the charge points?
Our chargers are hosted on the Octopus Electroverse map online or on the app, just filter for the Evyve network and then scan your Electrocard.
Why are partnerships like Evyve and Octopus Electroverse crucial to the public charging infrastructure?
Roaming and interoperability are key to making EV charging as easy as possible for the masses and making EV charging easy is the key to mass uptake and acceleration needed to meet the 2030 goal.
Fred Kamstra, Evyve Network Operations Manager
What’s your dream electric vehicle?
A Porsche Taycan
Do you have an EV life hack to share with the EV community?
Always carry a Type 2 cable in your car! You never know when you might need it and many AC chargers do not have tethered cables.
Also, always pre-heat your battery before you charge (if your car has that functionality), it allows you to charge at a higher speed and gain extra range.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone looking to use the public charging network for the first time?
Do your research and have a contingency plan. Choose a reliable charging network, a location that is known to you or one that is recommended. Check for reviews of sites and live updates.
And finally - an EV etiquette question - what would you say is the golden rule to using a public charger?
Charge your car to the minimum that you need or to 80%, whichever is lowest, especially at peak times as chargers can get busy….and be nice to the people you meet and share knowledge!
Feeling enlightened or do you think something was missing? Let us know by sharing your feedback.
Interested in learning more? Head over to our Electroverse Community area for more electrifying content.