Ask the Experts: What is the new National Chargepoint Registry?

We turn to Steve Large, technical director of electric vehicle charging solutions company POD Point, for expert advice in our latest ‘Ask the Experts’ series.

By Will Dron on January 11, 2012 12:45 PM

POD Point was recently chosen by the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to pull together the centralised National Chargepoint Registry, so POD Point’s Steve Large is a top man for our new series of Ask The Experts.

To kick things off, we asked Steve:

Q: What exactly is the National Chargepoint Registry, and why is it important?

“The National Chargepoint Registry (NCR) launches in March and will be the UK’s most comprehensive resource detailing charge point locations,” says Steve.

“Over the last two years a lot of fantastic work has been done to provide charging facilities both by the Plugged In Places projects [read about Plugged in Places here] and private organisations. The NCR will bring all of these locations together into a centralised database and make this data freely available.

“The system is important so that the detail of all these charge point locations can make its way into satellite navigation systems, websites and onto mobile platforms like the iPhone and Android, so users can easily find charge point locations.”

Better quality of information

“The NCR also aims to move forward the quality of information associated with a charging point; it is often the case that charge point locations are provided with rudimentary data regarding the type of facility and address. Throughout the NCR, design domain experts in navigation and location definition have been involved, advising on the structure of the NCR and type of information that should be incorporated.

“The NCR will be able to indicate whether there are any restrictions a driver may need to be aware of (height restrictions, parking time limitations or access times). It will be capable of providing detail of who operates and maintains the charging point. This enables systems such as web page maps and mobile platforms to filter the register and only show charge points that users have access to. Contact details can be pulled out to help users to access scheme operator details for support and enrolment purposes.

“In part, the National Chargepoint Register’s aim is to give charge point providers a mechanism by which to inform people of their existence. To enter data in the NCR groups will need to sign up to a commitment to maintain the data and provide a reasonable quality of accuracy in the location definition.

“I think it’s fair to say that today EV drivers are still often frustrated by driving to a location only to find a charge point is not there or has not been set up or commissioned yet.

“We need to ensure that the NCR is a service that provides real, accurate information that helps drivers decide on a route of choice without ‘charge point anxiety’”

About Steve Large

Steve is the Technical Director at POD Point, where he is responsible for the hardware and software development for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition to this Steve is actively involved with various industry organisations such as the DfT, IET and SMMT, where he advises on policy, industry developments and product specifications.

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