Rapid electric vehicle plug-in point network, Osprey, has become the first subscriber to ChargeSafe – a public endorsement body that inspects and rates charging locations – in a bid to assess areas for improvement and innovation towards greater electric vehicle (EV) inclusivity.

ChargeSafe has already pledged to inspect and rate all the UK’s charging locations this year using 63 criteria for safety and accessibility based on inclusivity charity Motability guidance and PAS1899 specifications – with ratings out of five made publicly available.

Said standards aim to provide universal specification for the minimum level of accessibility for all public EV charge points in the UK, for example, distance between charge points and amenities or a venue, CCTV, and screen or visual interface light, colours and text size.

By subscribing, Investec and Cube Infrastructure Partners-backed Osprey – which funds, installs and manages its network on behalf of landlord partners such as Marston’s pub company – can review the more granular data behind publicly available scores and identify specific areas to improve sites.

The firm’s new eight-charger, high power, hub at the Paisley Pear pub in Buckinghamshire was the first of its new accessibly-designed sites to be inspected – scoring a pre-launch rating of 4.46 out of five, for example.

“Accessible, safe and reliable charging is going to be critical for the continued uptake of electric vehicles,” James Court, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England said.

More inclusive charging experience

According to research from the Department for Transport published in January, there were 28,375 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK of which 5,156 were rapid chargers – respectively 9% and 5% higher than figures reported in October 2021.

On top of this, according to data from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders more than a fifth of car registrations in the first half of 2022 were EVs, with production and sales targets to be introduced from 2024 ahead of a 2030 deadline when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned.

Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging, explained that the firm’s subscription to ChargeSafe reaffirmed its commitment to providing safe, reliable and accessible charging.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

ChargeSafe co-founder Kate Tyrrell added that more accurately identifying areas for improvement will ultimately lead to a “more inclusive charging experience”.

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