Southern Rail helping commuters go home fully charged

Rail company is upgrading its electric vehicle charging infrastructure across 23 busy station car parks.

Southern Rail has today announced a project to upgrade its free-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charging points along the route.

For the past year, Southern Rail has been monitoring the usage of the EV charging points at a selection of its busiest station car parks, as part of its environmental strategy and commitment to sustainable travel. This data has shown consistent usage and with positive customer feedback, the company has agreed a deal with the British electric vehicle charging company, Pod Point, to upgrade its current stock of 48 units across 23 stations on the network.

The project sees Southern support the growing number of motorists that are driving electronic vehicles with a quicker, free-to-use charging system.

The first phase of the upgrade project is now complete after kicking off at Chichester station on Monday 2nd October. The existing stock of EV charging units have been replaced by Pod Point’s state-of-the-art Open Charge points. These are the next generation of Pod Point’s public charging network and are reliable, open to all, do not require membership or radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards and can be accessed via Pod Point’s mobile application.

The EV charging units are located in London and across the South. They can be found in car parks at the following stations; Arundel, Ashtead, Barnham, Brighton, Chichester, Crawley, Coulsdon South, Crowborough, Dorking, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Ham Street, Hassocks, Horsham, Hove, Norbury, Sutton, Lingfield, Purley, Redhill, South Croydon, Streatham and Whyteleafe.

The Open Charge points will be 7kW, which provide enough charge to power around 30 miles of range per hour. Each unit comes with twin sockets, which means two vehicles can be charged simultaneously.

Colin Morris, Head of Safety and Environment at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "This project is a key part of our environmental strategy for Southern, and demonstrates to our passengers that we are seriously committed to sustainable travel. Among a raft of improvements, the upgrade project will see the power supply upgraded, meaning quicker charging, as well as the addition of a simpler interface to improve the customer experience."

“The data from the past year’s trial has not only told us that people are regularly using the charge points, but also that EV is a technology that is growing in demand and it is important for us to be able to offer facilities that cater to all of our passenger needs. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and we need to support those drivers, as well as encourage motorists to swap to ultra-low emission vehicles, which will benefit the environment,” added Morris.

“This is a perfect example of blending the way people travel today, with the way we expect people to travel in years to come,” said James McKemey, Head of Insights, Pod Point. “Southern Rail is one of the UK’s busiest lines so understands the business of travel. Its decision to provide charging points is not only the right one in the short-term to provide facilities for the growing number of EV drivers on the road, but one that will have positive long-term implications for our transport infrastructure.”

The initial units are the first phase of a wider roll-out for Southern Rail. The uptake of each charging unit will be closely monitored, with a view to extending the network to other car parks connected with the franchise in the future.

Pod Point has already shipped more than 40,000 charge points, providing in excess of 30 million miles of electric motoring in the UK. For more information on the Southern Rail units or if you are looking for more information on EV ownership or charge points in your area, please visit opencharge.pod-point and pod-point.com/open-charge