How important is the commercial vehicle sector to Equans?
The CV sector is hugely important. Within the UK, we own and operate the GeniePoint network – the national rapid public charging network. However, we place equal focus on helping businesses transition their fleets and commercial vehicles to EVs. Our business model means the two complement each other, as we’re able to bring together charging anywhere. Once a driver is registered on the GeniePoint network at their workplace they’re able to use the public network to recharge on the move, without the need to return to their base. This makes charging commercial vehicles more efficient for the business and easier for the driver.
What infrastructure services can you provide to drivers of commercial vehicles?
We provide full turnkey installation and specialise in getting to know our clients, including what they need from their vehicles now and what their business strategy will demand from them in the future. It’s critical to provide good quality consultation before each install. Our end-to-end service handles everything from hardware procurement to commissioning and data provision – including grid reinforcement works if necessary. Our collaborative approach enables us to recommend a future-proofed solution that works for both the business and its drivers. Equans is committed to high-quality infrastructure design and install everywhere we operate.
How do van drivers pay for vehicle charging services from Equans?
Currently drivers can use the payment card attached to their GeniePoint account via the GeniePoint mobile app, or their registered RFID card, but this year we are rolling out contactless payment across our existing rapid charging networks, making payment without registration easier for those who just pay and charge.
What challenges/opportunities has the pandemic provided?
Naturally, for a business that provides the infrastructure and energy to move vehicles around, lockdown and the reduction in travel has presented some economic challenges. We have also experienced logistics and chip shortage concerns, which has affected the availability of chargers and parts, and in turn frustratingly impacted reliability as we wait for charger repair parts to arrive.
However, I believe the enforced slowdown that many people have been required to take has changed mindsets. Spending more time closer to home and less time rushing around has given people a chance to evaluate their impact on the world around them, to appreciate their local area and reconnect with it. I think collectively we have come out of that period more reflective, more appreciative and with a realigned sense of responsibility – we are seeing huge uptake of electric vehicles and increased network utilisation at the moment, and I think there’s a link.
How important is sustainability to Equans?
As part of the global Engie group, Equans is committed to accelerating the transition towards net zero for businesses and communities, as well as ensuring this is lived internally. We support our customers in their carbon reduction strategies through sustainable solutions, but we also have our own clear commitments to net zero. From an Equans EV Solutions perspective, sustainability is an integral part of our business as we empower others to move to greener transport options and a more sustainable future.