Chargingpost-dualchargeThe tech inside your smartphone is nothing short of incredible. It delivers breaking news from around the world right to your homescreen. It puts you face to face with loved ones on the other side of the planet. But did you know it’s also the the future of filling up at the petrol station? Allow us to explain.

Imagine a fuel station that knew who you were as you pulled up on the lot. Imagine a pump that could let you pay there and then, no need to traipse into the shop and queue. And imagine if it was eco-friendly, dispensing electricity rather than carbon-stuffed petrol.

No need to daydream: it’s happening. This week, Telefonica UK, which operates the O2 brand, announced a partnership with Chargemaster to work together on the tech inside its electric vehicle charging stations.

Called POLAR, Chargemaster’s network is the country’s largest private sector-funded charging network, and could revolutionise the way we drive – and not just in the switch to green transportation. As part of the deal, Telefonica is providing the machine-to-machine technology that connects the stations to a central hub. Using embedded SIM-cards, like the one in your phone, they can communicate with base over the mobile network instantly, making it easy for customers to authorise themselves.

And that’s just for starters. Combining mobile technology with charging stations could help drive the adoption of electric vehicles, no pun intended, by making them more convenient. Telefonica will continue to work with Chargemaster on new services: one possibility is a feature for finding the nearest charging station from your phone, then paying with your handset there and then too.

Gilli Coston, Head of M2M at Telefonica UK thinks it’s the beginning of something big. “We are committed to bringing products and services to market that help our customers live more sustainable lives. Electric cars represent a huge potential growth area and working with Chargemaster we hope to develop a range of services to help our customers and to boost this fledgling market.”

If smartphones have proved anything, it’s that any industry can benefit from embracing technology – here’s to one of the cleanest doing so too.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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