Rapid electric vehicle charging network Engenie is to rebrand as Osprey.
The firm has to date installed 150 rapid chargepoints at 100 locations. It counts pubco Marston’s, Transport for London (TfL), Brookhouse Group, Reef, Cardiff Council, and Northumberland Estates among its customers. Last year it secured £35m backing from Cube Infrastructure and said it will use the funds to rollout 2,000 chargers by 2025.
CEO Ian Johnston thinks EV penetration is set for even greater acceleration as the UK attempts to rebuild an economy ravaged by coronavirus. While the broader automotive market has tanked, new limits on public transport could ultimately lead to an extra million cars on the roads, according to some estimates.
While many of these will be petrol and diesel-powered, government incentives and low running costs mean that for many drivers, EVs are more financially viable than internal combustion engines: Changes to Benefit in Kind rates essentially give company car drivers a free car if they choose an EV. Meanwhile there is a £3,000 EV grant and the government is now mulling a £6,000 scrappage scheme for EV buyers.
Those incentives are starting to take effect. Even at the height of Covid-19 disruption, EV sales were up 21.5 per cent in May, and were up 132 per cent year to date to 31 May. For the same month, diesel and petrol sales were down 93 per cent and 90.5 per cent respectively, and 66 per cent and 55 per cent for the year to end of May.
As the industry reaches “a tipping point”, Johnston said the new brand name “provides a straightforward, recognisable name which encapsulates our long-held values of simple, open-access charging as we become the user-focussed network of choice.”
The company recently hired former McDonald’s global product director James Wehner in a bid to boost customer experience, which for EV drivers can be patchy.
He is tasked with delivering greater personalisation and more intuitive interfaces such as smart screens on chargers and a more intelligent phone app.
The network and its assets will be officially rebadged in October.