BMW is putting a bigger stake in its electric-vehicle initiative by investing in UK-based electric-vehicle charging infrastructure provider Chargemaster Plc in advance of the debut of the German automaker's first production electric vehicle, the i3. In addition to the investment through its i ventures division, BMW has a five-year agreement with Chargemaster and its efforts to build out its ChargeNow network throughout the UK.
Electric-vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) may provide the juice for new plug-in vehicles, but it's the other way around when it comes to sales with then relatively nascent EVSE market, according to a recent Pike Research report.
What's the point of the UK's new 4,000-strong (by the end of 2012) charging station network? According to Polar sales director Neil Sharpe, who posted to the UK LeafTalk forums, the devices aren't there to make long-distance EV drives possible. Instead:
It's time for the UK to go Polar. That's the name of a new scheme that calls for a UK-wide network of plug-in vehicles charging points to be installed. What's even more interesting is that every penny of the Polar initiative comes not from the government, but from private investments.
UK-based, HaloIPT is readying its in-road wireless charging system for plug-in vehicles and has inched closer the commercial launch by signing deals with two strategic production partners. HaloIPT will partner with Chargemaster in Europe and Evida Power in Asia to rush its inductive charging technology to market within the next 18 months.