Pub chain and brewer Marston’s has inked a deal which will see it power the 400 electric vehicle (EV) chargers it is installing across its UK estate with 100% renewable energy.
The firm first announced plans to install rapid EV chargers at 200 of its facilities by 2020 last year, after partnering with charging network Engenie. Now, Engenie has inked a deal with utility Octopus Energy and its EVs arm to supply 100% renewable power to the Marston’s network.
The switch to renewables at the pub chain’s existing 16 chargers will take place on Saturday (13 April), with the occasion set to be marked by an awareness-raising “discovery day” at the Bakehouse pub in Welwyn Garden City. There, Marston’s staff and customers will be able to test drive an EV and to receive demonstrations on how to use the chargers. Vehicles on display will include the BMW i-3, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla X.
As project deployment is increased to ensure that Marston’s meets its 2020 ambition of hosting 400 rapid chargers across 200 of its facilities, each of its newly installed charging points will be powered by Octopus Energy from their first day of operation.
The 50kW chargers require no membership or connection fee to use and are “brand agnostic”, making them compatible with all EVs. Engenie claims that EV users can receive the equivalent of 75-100 miles of range through a 30-minute charge.
Marston’s estimates that, by providing its EV network, it will remove up to 4.8 tonnes of harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) from UK roads annually once the roll-out is complete.
“We continue to work really hard on ensuring Marston’s is a top-performing, progressive and sustainable hospitality company and this next stage of our Engenie partnership with Octopus is real testament to that,” Marston’s waste and recycling coordinator Jon Davies said.
“It is a really exciting time to be working alongside two game-changers in the EV and renewable energy world. For Marston’s to be able to host the Octopus and Engenie event at The Bakehouse is a great step forward to put EVs at the forefront of people’s minds.”
As the EV revolution continues to gather pace, research has continued to suggest that the UK’s electric transport ambitions could be held back by a lack of suitable charging infrastructure.
In a recent survey of corporate fleet owners by The Climate Group’s EV100 team, seven out of ten respondents cited a lack of charging infrastructure as their biggest concern, with the upfront cost of EVs cited as the second most common challenge. Similarly, studies from the likes of PwC, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Bloomberg NEF) have identified a lack of investment into charging and energy infrastructure as a deterrent for motorists wishing to switch to EVs.
In response to the issue, a string of stakeholders across the policy, private sector and public sector spaces are beginning to either invest in EV charging technologies and supporting systems for the first time, or to bolster their commitments in this space.
In the private sector, Marston’s actions come as big-name retailers, hospitality and leisure firms and estate managers, as well as carmakers such as Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), are boosting their investments into EV charging networks. Key players in the oil and gas industry are also beginning to venture into the field of low-carbon mobility services, with Shell and BP having moved to offer rapid EV charging at their forecourts. Collaborative offerings, such as IONITY – a joint venture by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford and Porsche’s parent company Volkswagen (VW) with the single aim of creating a pan-European “super” network of rapid EV chargers by 2020 – are additionally emerging.
As for the public sector, bodies including Oxford City Council, Suffolk County Council and the City of London Authority have all confirmed new EV charging projects or scaled-up their existing efforts within the past six months. However, recently published Government figures suggest that funding challenges may soon begin to hinder local authorities as they strive to provide more EV infrastructure and additional e-mobility services.