Southern Rail has begun an upgrade project of its free-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charging point network, installing them at 23 key stations.

EV charging point supplier Pod Point is to provide its next generation Open Charge Points for the programme. 

The project is part of Govia Thameslink Railway’s environmental strategy for sustainable energy, phase one of which began in early October at Chichester station and is now complete. 

The current upgrades are the first phase of a wider roll-out on behalf of Southern Rail. Pod Point says the installations have long-term implications for the future of transport infrastructure.

Southern meanwhile has monitored data over the last year from its 48 existing charge points. It found that a growing number of motorists are using electric vehicles and the charging points get consistent usage and receive positive feedback. 

James McKemey, head of insights at Pod Point, said: “This is a perfect example of blending the way people travel today, with the way we expect people to travel in years to come.”

Southern Rail told Clean Energy News that while the chargers could have V2G capabilities retrofitted at a later date, it currently has no plans to introduce them for the foreseeable future. 

Colin Morris, Head of Safety and Environment at Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “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.”

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