The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, and Chargemaster Plc, Europe’s leading provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, today unveiled a world-first for the horseracing industry by confirming electric vehicle (EV) charge points will be installed at all of its 14 racecourses and historic Jockey Club Rooms by the end of 2012.
The first EV charge point goes operational at Kempton Park Racecourse today, with subsequent installations at Sandown Park and Epsom Downs to complete The Jockey Club’s three London racecourses. This will be closely followed by Newmarket, Exeter and Wincanton.
The innovative move is part of The Jockey Club’s sustainability strategy which highlights initiatives to make it easier for racing fans, conference and events clients, suppliers and staff to reduce their carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency. The points will allow users to fully charge an EV for just 95p, allowing travel of up to 115 miles dependent on the vehicle.
The Jockey Club’s Sustainability Executive, responsible for the company’s short and long term sustainability objectives, identified Chargemaster Plc to partner in the project as part of the POLAR scheme. The scheme, endorsed by Transport Minister Norman Baker, is committed to build a network of 4,000 charge points across Britain by the end of 2012 to sustain the expected growth in EVs. The news of the first racecourse EV charge point comes after a significant commitment from Waitrose to install EV charge points in many of their car parks.
In the next 18 months, it is predicted that 29 new models of plug-in cars and light vans will be launched in the UK market by manufacturers including BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Renault, Ford and Vauxhall.
“This is a world-first for horseracing, and I’m delighted that The Jockey Club’s racecourses are leading the way," said Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director, Jockey Club Racecourses. "The installations not only demonstrate our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint, but also provide our customers with a service that is only going to be more valuable in the future. We hope this innovation is another example of British racing doing everything possible to enhance our customers’ experience.”
"We are delighted to form this partnership with The Jockey Club," said David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster PLC. "As part of the national POLAR network, Chargemaster is installing charging points across the country, but we are pleased that The Jockey Club will be the first network of sporting venues to provide this service to their customers. We hope many racing fans, conference and events customers and staff, will find this service useful in the years ahead when more and more consumers will be using plug-in cars."
Norman Baker MP, Transport Minister, said: “Drivers are more likely to switch to electric vehicles if they know they can access a reliable network of charging points, so it's great to see The Jockey Club is leading the field and teaming up with Chargemaster.
"We now have more than 6,000 charging points across the country thanks to Government investment and forward-looking partnerships like this. I hope that today’s announcement will inspire more companies to drive their sites into the future by installing charging points, benefiting staff and customers as well as the environment.”