Osprey Charging, one of the UK’s major networks of rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging points, has become the first charging network to subscribe to ChargeSafe, a public charging endorsement body that independently inspects and rates EV charging locations.
ChargeSafe are inspecting and rating all the UK’s charging locations this year. The inspections will be based on 63 criteria for safety and accessibility, with ratings out of five made publicly available. By subscribing, Osprey can review the detailed data behind the scores to identify specific areas to further improve the charging service it offers its customers.
ChargeSafe’s accessibility criteria have been developed in line with the draft PAS1899 BSI standards for accessible charge points (co-sponsored by Motability and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles). Combined with detailed safety criteria, from lighting and CCTV to nearby facilities and busyness, the simple rating system will provide drivers with more informed charging options for day and night.
This is a crucial development for electric vehicle drivers who can sometimes find themselves in the middle of nowhere with a charger that doesn’t work or is poorly lit or that feels unsafe. Hopefully, this will force all providers to deliver safe and easy charging at all sites across the UK.
Osprey’s new site at the Paisley Pear, an eight-charger, high-power hub, was the first of Osprey’s new accessibly-designed hubs to be inspected by ChargeSafe. It scored a pre-launch rating of 4.46/5, including the highest accessibility score seen so far by ChargeSafe on the UK network.
This new hub marks a step-change in Osprey’s hub roll-out to more accessible designs, with 2021-launched hubs at Banbury Cross, Wolverhampton and Croydon, scoring 4.26, 3.96 and 3.80 respectively.
Ian Johnston, Osprey Charging CEO, said: “We have long been supporters of what ChargeSafe stand for and we’re proud to become the first charging network to subscribe to its thorough, EV charging location rating system. We are committed to providing safe, reliable and accessible EV charging for all.
“That means well-lit sites, the best chargers and the ability for wheelchairs and anyone with mobility requirements to have the space and access to charge, pay and enjoy our facilities.
“Working with ChargeSafe means we can ensure that accessibility and safety are prioritised at all of our new sites, whilst giving us the insight to rectify other areas of our network that should be upgraded.”
Last year, Osprey Charging announced it was partnering with British Gas, the UK’s largest energy and home services company. The partnership provides British Gas engineers with direct access to Osprey’s nationwide network of over 300 charging stations across the UK. Having safe and easy charging is vital for drivers and fleets, such as British Gas, in the transition to electric vehicles.
Kate Tyrrell, ChargeSafe co-founder, said: “The aim of ChargeSafe is to support the public charging networks to identify areas for improvement with greater accuracy, championing what’s being done well and ultimately leading to a more inclusive charging experience for the UK.
“We’re delighted to be working with a leading nation-wide charging network such as Osprey and we hope other charging networks follow suit soon to give drivers better charge options when considering their safety and accessibility needs.”
James Court, Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England CEO, said: “Accessible, safe and reliable charging is going to be critical for the continued uptake of electric vehicles.
“ChargeSafe’s commitment to improving safety and accessibility at chargers is second to none and we are so glad to see Osprey be the first charging network to step up and show how important safety and accessibility are to their customers.”