One of the MPs for Reading recently visited a business that is leading the way in electrical vehicle charging points for drivers.

Alok Sharma, the Conservative MP for Reading West and COP 26 President, visited the offices of ChargePoint last Friday (April 29).

During the visit, Mr Sharma toured the international company’s UK base at the Arlington Business Park in Theale.

ChargePoint’s UK engineering lab and office in Theale is its largest location in Europe and houses 60 engineers specialising in mechanical engineering, power electronics and software.

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There is also a growing sales force and network of resellers and installers in the offices, offering a boost to employment in the area.

At the visit, Mr Sharma touredChargePoint’s research and development facility, where he met with the engineers behind the company’s growth, and discussed ChargePoint’s investment and future plans in Reading West,  the UK and Europe, as well as its contribution to reducing carbon emissions through electric vehicles.

As President of COP26, Mr Sharma negotiated a pledge from various sectors to invest $130 trillion to accelerate the transition to a net-zero carbon economy, and introducing a requirement of private sector companies to disclose how they aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as well.

Reading Chronicle: Rt Hon Alok Sharma, Cop26 President and Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, tour ChargePoint's Labs. Credit: Clarity GlobalRt Hon Alok Sharma, Cop26 President and Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, tour ChargePoint's Labs. Credit: Clarity Global

The tour was led Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO and President.

Mr Romano said: “I am delighted to have COP26 President Alok Sharma visit ChargePoint.

“At ChargePoint, we know that to support EV growth, charging services should always offer the driver a seamless and reliable experience with charging infrastructure installed ahead of demand.

“To make meaningful and genuine progress on EV charging, private sector leadership and innovation is key – along with continued government support.

“To this end, we’re excited to invest in the UK and beyond in EV charging solutions which optimise the driver experience and encourage the speedy electrification of all transportation.”

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In conversation with Mr Sharma, Mr Romano voiced  support for  the UK government’s policies to improve Electric Vehicle infrastructure, particularly the emphasis on contactless payment on charging stations, mandating roaming and introducing an ambitious California-style Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.

In the UK, the Government announced that sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans will end by 2030.

Electric vehicle charging stations are provided by a number of different companies in Reading.

As well as charging points at car parks, there is also on street electric vehicle charging at the following locations:

  • St Bartholomews Road
  • Manchester Road
  • Coventry Road
  • Filey Road
  • Caversham Road
  • Wantage Road
  • Anstey Road
  • East Street

These chargers are operated by Joju.

There are also fast chargers, operated by Mer, at the following locations:

  • Chester Street Car Park
  • Thames Promenade Car Park
  • Kensington Road Car Park

ChargePoint is headquartered in the city of Campbell in the San Francisco Bay Area.