Australian Charging Company Jolt Launches On-Street EV Chargers in UK

Jolt, an Australian charging company that has received backing from U.S. fund manager BlackRock, is rolling out on-street EV chargers in London as part of plans to install 5,000 chargers in Britain over the next three to five years.

The company is initially rolling out chargers in the London borough of Barnet, and is in talks to do the same in other boroughs. Barnet has received a £2.1 million ($2.6 million) government grant for EV charging infrastructure.

Jolt’s chargers are different from most on-street public chargers, which typically provide a low trickle of power (often around 7 kilowatts) to charge EVs overnight. Jolt’s chargers are at 25 kilowatts (kW) and are best suited for short stops on high streets in densely populated urban areas.

The company’s chargers feature advertising, which pays for 7 kilowatt hours of free charging for consumers, or around 30 miles (48.3 km) of EV range.

Jolt has received more than A$100 million ($63.7 million) in funding from BlackRock’s climate infrastructure fund and operates in Australia and New Zealand. The company recently announced a partnership with Canadian telecoms company Telus to install 5,000 chargers across Canada.

Jolt currently has around 100 chargers in service, but has a “global pipeline of around 7,500 chargers,” according to Jolt CEO Doug McNamee.

The company has also set up U.S. offices and is exploring how to enter that market, which has a patchwork of regulations that vary by state.

“We’ve got a great partner in BlackRock, so we might be springing up somewhere else before you know it,” McNamee said.

Jolt’s launch of on-street EV chargers in London is a significant step forward for the company and for the UK’s EV charging infrastructure. The company’s chargers are well-suited for densely populated urban areas, and its advertising-based model could help to make EV charging more affordable.