Plug and pay: UK’s largest EV rapid-charge network goes contactless

BP Chargemaster charging

The UK’s largest public charging network for electric vehicles will offer contactless card payment on all 50kW rapid and 150kW ultra-fast chargers it installs going forward. Existing rapid charge points will also get the upgrade, with retro-fitting happening over the course of the next year.

Polar, the charging network operated by BP Chargemaster, has 450 rapid chargers across its 7,000-point network, a number due to rapidly expand over the coming months and years.

Contactless payment adds on-the-go and occasional-use convenience to complement the Polar Plus subscription service debuted in 2015. In addition, contactless payment – a first for a UK-based rapid-charging device – joins pay-as-you-go smartphone access at BP Chargemaster Polar points.

Electric car

This news comes shortly after BP Chargemaster’s announcement last week that up to 200 50kW rapid-charge points are to be installed at Mitchells and Butlers bars and restaurants.

By October 2019, 50 points will already have been installed. As of today’s announcement, it looks like they will feature contactless payment, too.

BP Chargemaster 150kW rapid charger

BP acquired Chargemaster last year in a move it described as an ‘important step to scaling up and deploying fast and ultra-fast charging on BP’s UK forecourts’.

“At BP we believe that fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles,” said BP’s Tufan Erginbilgic.

“Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s complementary expertise, experience and assets is an important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites across the UK, and to BP becoming the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.”