How important is the commercial vehicle sector to Osprey?
Osprey’s mission is to enable cleaner road transport to create a healthier environment for future generations. With over half of all new light vehicles sold in the UK going to the commercial sector, these businesses and drivers are hugely important to achieving this electrification mission. These vehicles are usually high-mileage and therefore have a greater need for simple rapid charging than your average private driver. We want to provide the easiest and most enjoyable charging experience to meet that need.
What infrastructure services can you provide to drivers of commercial vehicles?
We provide straightforward EV rapid charge points (50-150kW) and multi-charger hubs at retail locations close to major routes. We choose these locations carefully to ensure the driver has access to food and drinks, amenities and in many cases shopping whilst charging. At our hub sites, we upgrade the electrical infrastructure to install high-power chargers that can add 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, provided the vehicle battery allows, to help get commercial drivers back on the road. Our locations are also shown with live availability in Google Maps and Zap-Map, as well as in Waze, Apple Maps and in-car sat nav systems.
How do van drivers pay for vehicle charging services from Osprey?
All of Osprey’s chargers accept major electric fuel cards, including Allstar One Electric and SME fleet roaming services offered by Shell Recharge Solutions, Mina and Paua. In addition, every Osprey charger accepts contactless bank cards as standard, and receipts can be issued on request or through the Osprey App, where a bank card can be added as a payment method for monthly billing and VAT receipts.
What challenges/opportunities has the pandemic provided?
Shortages at our suppliers and construction partners, particularly staffing, building supplies and chips, did all impact our ability to roll out charging infrastructure. Working closely with partners, we were able to overcome some of these to become a fast-growing DC network. Whilst the lower numbers of drivers on the roads meant lower network usage, it did give us the opportunity to focus on improving our systems: we built a proprietary charger management system and app from scratch. It’s this that allows us to easily integrate with so many fleet and fuel services, ultimately improving the experience for the commercial vehicle driver.
How important is sustainability to Osprey?
Everyone at Osprey is committed professionally and personally to building a sustainable business. The team has a joint track record of developing and constructing over 250 renewable energy projects. We partner with Octopus Energy for the supply of 100% renewable energy to our EV drivers through our charge points. Further than just the supply, all our maintenance engineers and management team drive electric vehicles, and we choose our construction partners based on their sustainable credentials, in particular the removal and recycling of waste generated during installation works. ZipCars and an electric taxi service are also made available to staff on account for all short business journeys.
Ian Johnston, CEO at electric vehicle charging firm Osprey