Charge-m8 Gets Electric Start
Launch of New Manchester EV Charging Provider has been Electric!
Manchester is home to an exciting new Electric Vehicle charge point start-up. Launched in September 2021, Charge-m8 is set apart from the competition as a vertically integrated charge-point manufacturer, installer and charge-point operator (CPO).
Founded by Altrincham entrepreneur and CEO Julian Smith, the business has put down roots in Sale, with bold plans to offer full National UK coverage by the end of 2022, creating up to six new jobs in the local area, and a total of 12 across the UK.
With an emphasis on unrivalled service, Charge-m8 installations are carried out by their own in-house fully qualified engineers, “the only way that we can 100% guarantee the quality of each and every installation is to do it ourselves” says Iain Hughes, Chief Technical Officer. “While most businesses would use sub-contract labour at this stage, we want to be true to our ethos and offer the very best from day one” he continued.
Focusing on a core range of Charge-m8 branded Charge-points, augmented by other premium EV Charger brands such as Ohme, EO and Wallbox, Charge-m8 offers a growing range of EV Charging options for the Home and Workplace. Charge-m8 is registered as an Approved Installer by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) for both Domestic & Workplace charge-point installations, and are focused on delivering affordable solutions for clients looking to make the first step into EV Charging or expand their current charging provision.
Following six months of strong growth with installations across Great Britain, Charge-m8 has settled into new offices at the Mirwell Business Centre to provide space for continued expansion. The website https://www.charge-m8.com is getting an overhaul, with new payment options such as Klarna added to soften the blow of the OZEV Home Charge Grant Scheme for homeowners being withdrawn in March.
“The market is definitely accelerating fast” says Chief Executive Officer Julian Smith, “its amazing to think that in March the top two new cars sold in the UK were both electric, and there’s no sign of that trend changing as we move towards the deadline for sales of combustion engine vehicles”.
Julian added “we have already built a strong platform with free smartphone APP’s that give access to thousands of charge-points across the UK & Europe, and were busy developing our range to meet the new EV Charge-Point standards being introduced this year”.
The EV charging market is constantly evolving, one interesting area that increasingly comes up is the etiquette over allowing friends and family to share your home charge-point, “after all you wouldn’t ordinarily pay to put fuel in a friend’s car, so why would you let them charge at your home for free?” said Iain, adding “especially when the cost to fully charge a typical full EV is around £15-£18”.
Fortunately Charge-m8 have an eloquent solution for this potentially embarrassing conundrum, as their latest Charge-Points can be set-up to have QR codes displayed for guests and visitors to scan with any modern smartphone, opening a simple one-page form to set-up a one-off charging session. “It’s really simple to use” says Julian, “guests just scan the QR code, enter their card details in a secure page, we process the payment and the charge-point owner gets the payment less the credit card fees and a small administration charge.”
As with Workplace charging options, the charge-point owner sets the price charged, so they are always in control. “The system is a good example of technology solutions designed for Workplace Charging being used in home installations” says Iain, “we have also just launched a voucher system for hospitality and retail clients, so they can offer EV drivers free charging to attract more custom to their sites.
Julian thinks exciting times lie ahead as OZEV recently announced a shake-up of grants for EV Chargers in both Workplace and Home settings. Whilst homeowners are losing out in the changes, tenants can now claim the grant for the first time, and the workplace scheme has been extended to allow charities and small hospitality businesses like B&B’s to claim for the first time. Further extensions that include and SME grant for Workplace charging that encourages a minimum 5 parking bays to be electrifies mean exciting times are ahead as the country races to install sufficient charge-points to meet increasing demand.
“Following the success of the last seven months, the plan is to add more resource along the M6 and M1 corridors, before establishing a technical service centre within the M25” said Iain, it will be a case of just watching this space.”