Features & Interviews

Five minutes with Tom Hurst, UK Country Manager and Network Development Manager for Fastned

14 July 2022 #Features & Interviews

How important is the commercial vehicle sector to Fastned? 

Fastned’s mission is to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, and the commercial vehicle sector is at the vanguard of that switch. Ensuring that commercial vehicles have access to a quality, convenient and quick charging experience is therefore incredibly important to Fastned.

With our large parking bays and covered canopies, our ultra-rapid chargers serve the needs of drivers who want the clean, quiet driving experience of an electric vehicle, while being able to quickly recharge ahead of the next job. We understand that, particularly for commercial drivers, downtime is lost revenue.

What infrastructure services can you provide to drivers of commercial vehicles? 

We aim for our ultra-rapid stations to be conveniently located at high-traffic locations, so that drivers don’t have to go too far out of their way for a boost. The stations are easy to use, fast to charge and simple to pay for, allowing busy drivers to get on with their day.

We choose to locate close to quality amenities, giving drivers access to the services they need during the 15 to 20 minutes that their vehicle is charging.

Tell us about your latest ultra-rapid charging station locations for van drivers? 

Fastned has opened three flagship stations in the UK since May: our Hamilton Palace Grounds site is currently Scotland’s biggest ultra-rapid charging station, with eight chargers fully supplied by renewable energy. Located just off the A72 and near the M74, we’re already receiving highly positive feedback from drivers. Our infrastructure strategy also means this site is ready to expand to 12 ultra-rapid bays when we see that the demand is there.

We also launched our first site in London at Ramac Way, in the London Borough of Greenwich. With six ultra-rapid charging bays, the site is located just off Woolwich Road (A206) near Blackwall Tunnel, and caters for local vehicles as well as people travelling through the Tunnel.

In Oxford, we launched 10 ultra-rapid chargers as part of Energy Superhub Oxford, Europe’s most powerful charging hub, located on Oxford’s ring road and integrated with the Redbridge Park and Ride facility. Again, this site is ready to expand to at least 14 charging bays.

How do van drivers pay for vehicle charging services from Fastned? 

We know that easy payment and transparent pricing is important for all drivers. All of our UK stations offer a full range of payment options, including contactless, payment through our app, and payment partners. At Oxford in particular, we’ve already seen how valuable contactless payment terminals are for fleet drivers using company credit cards.

We are constantly looking at how to improve the driving experience. For example, we’re now working with fleet operators on centrally managing billing for their drivers, while giving them insight into their charging session via our app, as well as access to our unique Autocharge solution: when you plug in, your charging session will start automatically, so you won’t even need to use your key fob or credit card. At this point, charging can be simpler than going to a petrol station.

How important is sustainability to Fastned? 

Our stations are designed with a timber-framed solar canopy that provides some (but not all) of your energy while you charge with us. We’re always looking for ways to make our construction more energy and carbon-efficient.

Tell us about your future plans for new charging stations? 

Our Europe-wide goal is to have 1,000 stations well before 2030, with 400 by 2024. The UK remains a priority market for us and we will continue to build our stations in great locations right across the country. We’ve just started construction on our next batch of sites here, and look forward to showing more people what Electric Freedom looks like.

Tom Hurst, UK Country Manager and Network Development Manager for Fastned

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