Press release -
Govia Thameslink Railway opens largest electric vehicle charging hub in rail and announces thousands of station improvements
Today on World Electric Vehicle (EV) Day, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - the UK’s biggest rail franchise – welcomed Secretary of State Grant Shapps to open rail’s largest dedicated EV charging hub at Hatfield station, which features a total of 27 charging points.
The installation marks a milestone in a wide-ranging station improvements programme being undertaken by GTR, which encompasses more than 230 stations and over 1,000 individual projects. The programme aims to enhance the overall journey experience by making stations smarter, safer, more comfortable and more environmentally sustainable. Much of the work has been suggested by local passenger and community groups.
In partnership with Pod Point, a leading provider of EV charging infrastructure, Hatfield’s new hub has been opened to meet the increasing consumer demand for electric vehicles, whilst also demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability. The EV installation at Hatfield will see a 150 per cent increase in public EV charging devices in the Welwyn Hatfield district.
The charging points will provide additional accessibility and convenience for customers using the Great Northern and Thameslink station and as part of the project, 12 new charging points have also been installed at Haywards Heath train station.
These locations were chosen as a result of a heat-mapping exercise conducted by the rail operator, which revealed EV ownership and sales ‘hot spots’ around the UK. With an increasing number of people switching to electric vehicles, Govia Thameslink Railway is responding to local demand by providing greater access to charging infrastructure. The new charging points are in addition to the existing 114 in place across the GTR network, which have all undergone improvements as part of the project.
Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, explained: “We’re delighted to officially unveil our new EV charging hub at Hatfield station. This is part of a much wider programme of works to improve station facilities at every station across the GTR network and give a better experience to our passengers.
“We have over 1,000 improvement projects happening across our network and many will help improve the sustainability of our stations, especially as our local communities seek out options for the greenest forms of travel.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re taking great strides towards our goal of having one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world. This means a network for current and future electric vehicle drivers that is affordable, reliable, accessible and secure.
“Today’s landmark announcement ticks all those boxes and will make journeys on road and rail much greener for local residents, commuters and businesses.”
Erik Fairbairn, Founder and CEO, Pod Point, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Govia Thameslink Railway on this landmark EV charging installation. Our continued partnership with GTR is making it easier for drivers to choose electric and will help accelerate adoption. We see the GTR EV charging hubs at Hatfield and Haywards Heath as a blueprint for EV charging across the rail industry. It offers connected electrified transport for all UK commuters and for the millions of drivers without off-street parking it provides a viable and convenient alternative to domestic or workplace charging.”
A dedicated Station Improvements web page is now available for GTR passengers and local communities to easily access information on what’s happening at their station to improve ambiance, experience and sustainability.
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Notes to editors
About Govia Thameslink Railway’s Station Improvements programme:
- The installation of EV charging points is part of a huge programme of wide-ranging station improvements that includes all 200-plus stations managed by GTR. The programme encompasses over 1,000 individual projects, many of which were suggested by local passenger and community groups.
- As part of the programme of works and in addition to the new EV charging hub, Hatfield station will get an extra waiting shelter as well as various toilet improvements
- While we’re working hard to achieve the punctuality and reliability our passengers rightly expect, we want them to know we are with them all the way and making their stations better places to pass through.
- We’re making a vast number and range of improvements that can be described under three themes:
1. First, we’re giving many stations a better ambience by redecorating, planting and installing artwork, often with substantial input from the local community
2. Second, we’re making stations work better for passengers, improving comfort and safety with waiting rooms and shelters, seating, lighting, information screens, defibrillators for public use, and accessibility schemes
3. And third, we’re making stations more sustainable, with schemes such as electric vehicle charging points, rainwater retention systems, and even bee gardens.
- We’ve created dedicated web pages where passengers and local communities can get updates on what’s happening at their station. They can be found at:
- Govia Thameslink Railway has installed 27 Pod Point 7kW chargepoints at Hatfield station
- Pod Point understand it to be the largest EV charging hub in UK Rail
- The chargepoints are powered by Pod Point’s Array System which reduces the requirement on standing supply by 66 per cent
- The Pod Point Array System also makes it easier to install chargepoints and add new ones as EV adoption increases
- GTR is using Pod Point’s back office Smart Reporting to control access to EV charging, monitor usage and have the option to set custom electricity tariffs
- Pod Point’s network assurance team can monitor the Wi-Fi connected chargepoints and remotely perform simple fixes and issue over the air updates. This reduces the need for on-site maintenance and minimises inconvenience
- According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) UK sales of battery powered vehicles are up by 158 per cent and a fifth of cars sold in the UK are powered by alternative means (including hybrid) instead of pure petrol or diesel – up 8.5 per cent on 2019
About Pod Point
- Pod Point was founded in 2009 by CEO and entrepreneur Erik Fairbairn. Driven by a belief that travel shouldn’t damage the earth, Pod Point has more than 70,000 charge points in the UK and Norway and is an official charge point supplier for major car brands in both countries
- Pod Point’s solutions include everything from smart domestic charge points to 150kW high power rapid chargers and load balancing systems. Along with consumers, it works with a broad range of organisations to offer workplace, residential and commercial charging solutions. Its customers include major retailers, hotels, restaurants and transport hubs
 Charge points in the district will increase from 18 to 45 according to the Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria