Greene King and Drive Energi ink major UK EV charging rollout deal

Hundreds of Greene King pubs across the UK could soon offer access to electric vehicle drivers looking to charge up their car while they dine and drink, after the pub chain announced a deal with EV charge point operator Drive Energi to install chargers at its sites right across the UK.

The partnership will see Drive Energi build, own and operate a rapid charging network across the pub chain's sites, including its Farmhouse Inn, Chef and Brewer and Hungry Horse brands, the firm said.

The initial deployment will focus on locations in the North-West, the firms said, with sites in the region expected to be fully operational by 2021, before a wider rollout takes place across the UK over the following three years.

The Tritium 50kW DC charge points have been designed to enable contactless payment via a 'Pay As You Go' tariff with no subscription required, Drive Energi said.

"This is a significant milestone for Drive Energi and we are proud to be working in partnership with Greene King on this exciting project as the UK's EV charging sector will play major role in leading a green recovery post-Covid-19," said James Moat, CEO at Drive Energi.

"We are committed to the roll-out of accessible public charging across the UK and drivers can expect to charge from over 300 Drive Energi locations by the end of 2021." The partnership will continue until 2040, the firms said, potentially seeing all 2,700 of Greene King's sites have EV chargers installed.

The deal is a further sign that UK businesses are gearing up for the switch to electric vehicles, with recent analysis from BNEF and Deloitte suggesting sales of petrol and diesel cars may already have peaked.

The UK government is currently consulting on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035 or earlier. However, UK drivers will require widespread access to charging points if they're to embrace to shift. Drive Energi is also among a growing number of companies working to meet these infrastructure needs.