South Western Railway’s (SWR) first network of electric vehicle charging points has officially gone live.
SWR which comes under frequent fire from delayed commuters has invested £100,000 in sixty new charging points at six station car parks, including Andover, on its network, demonstrating a commitment to making rail travel more sustainable.
To celebrate these charging points going live, passengers are now able to charge their electric vehicles for free when they travel by SWR. Passengers will still need to pay for their parking but can drive up to Andover railway stations and five other stations – Basingstoke, Farnborough, Haslemere, Wokingham and Fleet – and not pay for a single watt between now and the end of October.
SWR worked with mechanical and electrical engineering specialists, SSE Enterprise Rail, to install Rolec EV WallPod charging units at each station. The units are 13-amp trickle chargers which allow passengers to plug-in and charge their electric vehicles while they are parked for the day. Each station also has a designated parking space to ensure passengers can charge their vehicles safely and securely.
“I think they need to concentrate on what happens once you’re on the train first,” said traveller Lucy Ashcroft who was using the rail company from Andover today. “The wifi is unusable, usually there are delays because of signalling problems. And a three coach train to London Waterloo means many people have to stand. Even in off-peak times”.
The charging point at Andover is designed for the current generation of electric vehicles and will have to be upgraded to handle higher electrical currents for future developments in the car market.
Amelia Woodley, Head of Sustainability at South Western Railway, said, “We’re passionate about sustainability, and by investing in practical projects like station charging points and offering free charging, we can encourage more passengers to make environmentally friendly choices that could help improve local air quality.
“Over the course of the franchise we aim to roll out more green initiatives, including reducing our energy usage and improving how we manage our waste, to ensure we become significantly greener by 2024.”