Southampton Airport: Case Study
Pod Point installed 7 chargepoints in Southampton Airport's short stay and priority parking bays for both visitors and employees.
Last updated: Aug 29, 2023 • 4 min read
Southampton Airport installed seven EV chargepoints in its short stay and priority parking bays as the first part of a phased approach to EV charging installations.
- Six of the chargepoints are for customer use while one is for airport vehicles. All are located within a three minute walk to the departure lounge.
- Due to increased demand from customers for EV charging and high utilisation levels, Phase 2 was fast-tracked and Pod Point was instructed to install additional chargepoints 10 months after the initial project.
- Phase 2 saw a further four chargepoints added in 2019.
- The chargers are currently free to use for visitors to the short stay car park. Usage levels are closely monitored so that more chargepoints can be added before the site hits capacity.
- The successful project has led to further installations at Southampton’s sister airports, Aberdeen International Airport and Glasgow International Airport.
As the UK’s leading South Coast airport, Southampton Airport recognised the need to provide EV chargepoints for the growing number of plug-in vehicle drivers on UK roads.
Parking is a significant element of a modern aviation company’s business model. Keeping up with the growing uptake of EVs and becoming EV compatible was a necessary requirement for Southampton Airport, which wants to remain competitive and give visitors the best possible customer experience.
EV charging was required to help visitors starting their journey in the local area, but also for those setting off from over 50 miles away. Southampton Airport wanted to ensure these customers did not consider the airport as ‘out of range’ for EV drivers.
Encouraging and enabling clean travel to and from the airport was also important, along with having the capability to report on the carbon dioxide emissions offset via EV charging.
There are multiple driver-groups at modern airports, which necessitates a number of different car parks and services to to meet their requirements; these include, for example, passenger long stay, mid-stay, short-stay, drop-off and valet services. And along with customers, there was also the need to consider the various driver behaviours amongst landside and airside-staff.
The challenge was defining which car parks would be best suited for hosting the EV chargepoints in the first instance and ensuring the installation was carried out to rigorous and site-specific airport standards.
There was also a desire to track usage, the amount of energy used and the volume of carbon dioxide offset, without requiring EV drivers to carry fobs or RFID cards.
Following an assessment of driver behaviour, the decision was made to have the phase 1 installation split across short stay and priority parking. The car park is just a few minutes’ walk from the main terminal and so those picking up or dropping off are more likely to make use of airport facilities.
Prior to installation and to ensure all airport protocols were understood, a Pod Point team member undertook one of Southampton Airport’s induction courses. The 7kW chargepoints were then installed to offer either a quick top up for waiting drivers, or to fully-charge an EV for those travelling for a few days.
Of the new chargepoints installed, six are for public use and visible on Pod Point’s Network, with the remaining chargepoint allocated for staff use. EV drivers wanting to use the airport can check to confirm there is a charging service available before they book a flight.
Upon arrival the charge can be confirmed via the Pod Point mobile app, which means that RFID cards and fobs are not required. More than 60,000 users already exist and where an EV driver does not have an existing account they can download the app for free and confirm their charge.
The installation was delivered in-line with aviation protocol and signed-off by the airport facilities team.
Demand for charging was more than double the anticipated level.
Over the course of the first year, Southampton Airport had set a target of saving around 1,500kg of carbon dioxide emissions, however, within ten months of the installation the airport had saved more than 3,400kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
The demand for charging was far higher than expected which prompted phase 2 of the installation to be brought forward, with a further four chargepoints installed by the end of January 2019.
Neil Garwood, Managing Director of Southampton Airport, said:
“The number of drivers switching to EVs is increasing exponentially. These drivers need access to public charging as they go about their lives, and we need to make sure we’re meeting the needs of this particular group of customers. We’re also pleased to be helping build the UK’s charging infrastructure with this installation."