So good news today from Polar. Rather than the £19.99 a month subscription model, they have listened to feedback from EV drivers and are now radically overhauling their pricing. Full details are:
- Annual fee now £10.00
- Free use of the network for charging with a fair usage policy. So no charging for 8 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Free use is currently in place until the end of March 2013 and they will review at that point.
- Areas covered are all POLAR points, Milton-Keynes, the Source London network, Oxford, Cambridge and some other Chargemaster locations (which if you are not sure, they say call them to check).
- There will be a live i-Phone app available within 3-4 weeks which has route planning, dynamic socket info (available/not available) and other features.
The new offer is live now for a soft-launch and people that want to register should call 01582 400 331 and ask for Tanya Saunders. She will send a form to be filled in, signed and sent back. They then call back to take the £10.00 when processed and send out a smartcard. I guess this will get more automated once demand increases.
I think this is a fantastic offer. £10 per year gets you access to all the 32A type 2 Mennekes points around the country that they are rolling out now, the CHAdeMO chargers that are going to be rolled out (first one live at Abingdon now) and future 43kW three phase posts like the ones they are now fitting in France and the Netherlands. I don't know for sure, but they could upgrade the network to 43kW if cars like the Zoe take off. Their current roll out is 4000 posts, which started in this area so I've already checked out a few of them.
I got a card from Little Chef a couple of weeks ago which was a standard Polar card, so I called them and paid £10 to register it this afternoon. At £19.99 per month it was not good value, I would never have used it enough to justify that price and I doubt anyone else would, but at £10 per year it is a different kettle of fish. It includes Source London, which was already £10, so adding the rest of the country for free is a bargain.
Given that we've all been working towards a comprehensive 32A network with rapid charging overlay on the trunk routes, getting it for £10 per year is great news and this company has some serious private backing to get the job done.
There is mention of the soft launch on Chargemaster's Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chargemas ... 0582238668
- and full details will be added to their website later, but in the meantime call them and they will send you the paperwork.