Guest Editor: Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging
As we settle into 2024, I have been reflecting on a year of tremendous growth for our public charging network. Our expansion was driven by our commitment to instil confidence in EV drivers by providing reliable and easy-to-use charging infrastructure in places where people want to spend their time, right across the nation.
From the outset, we set bold targets to accelerate the rollout of our chargers to new locations across the UK.
I’m proud to report that in 2023 our network has grown by 150% from 400 chargers at the start of the year to over 1,000 chargers installed, making 2023 without a doubt the most successful year in our company’s history. This significant growth will now be sustained as the norm going forward, and we look forward to delivering another 600 chargepoints in 2024.
But the numbers only tell part of the story. We have strategically developed partnerships that allow us to install EV chargers at places where drivers actually want to spend their time whilst stopping to recharge. Our Salmon’s Leap charging hub with 16 chargers opened this year in Buckfastleigh, bringing 300kW ultra-fast charging to the South-West. This was one of 22 ultra-rapid charging hubs that we built across Great Britain in 2023, and there are many more in development in 2024 and beyond.
However, we recognise that the reliability and ease-of-use of the infrastructure is equally as critical as the number of chargers being installed, to truly give drivers confidence in public charging. We welcome the Government’s introduction of the 2023 Public Chargepoint Regulations, as they will provide drivers the confidence that the network will be reliable and easy-to-use whenever they need it. One of the key regulations is the requirement for charging networks to ensure uptime of 99%, and Osprey are delighted to report that we are already complying with this through active oversight and management of our network.
Our commitment to a vast roll-out of reliable and easily accessible charging infrastructure has seen us win a number of accolades in 2023.
We were honoured to have been voted as one of the Top 3 Charging Networks in the annual Zapmap rankings for en-route charging networks – marking our fourth year in succession being awarded the ‘EV Driver Recommended Network’ title.
And I am delighted to say that the achievements kept coming. In November we won Best EV Charging Network at the Transport and Energy awards, closely followed by a quadruple win at the Electric Vehicle Innovation and Excellence Awards (EVIEs), including Chargepoint Network of the Year and Private Sector Infrastructure Strategy of the Year.
As we cross the milestone of one million EVs on the UK roads, and look towards the next million, it is imperative that charging infrastructure is easy both to access and to pay, regardless of whether you are a private or fleet driver. Roaming access has always been a key priority for Osprey, and we have invested heavily in developing our own software platform, Osprey Iris, to allow us to integrate with numerous strategic partners. Following on from being launch partners for AllStar, Octopus Electroverse, Zap Pay and Paua amongst others, 2023 saw us selected by Motability Operations as their first chargepoint operator partner in 2023.