Chargemaster Limited
IndustryElectric vehicles
HeadquartersLinford Wood, Milton Keynes, England
Key people
David Martell (CEO)
ProductsElectric vehicle charging infrastructure
Number of employees
200 (2017)
ParentBP Edit this at Wikidata

Chargemaster Limited (branded as bp pulse, formerly BP Chargemaster, chargemaster, POLAR and Polar Plus) is a supplier of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, based in Milton Keynes, England. It provides charging units for home, business and public use, and operates its own electric vehicle public charging network, which is the largest network in the United Kingdom.

Chargemaster is the only company to manufacture electric vehicle rapid chargers in the UK.[1][2] As of 2017, the company had supplied more than 30,000 charging points for electric vehicle drivers' homes[3] and more than 10,000 public and commercially-operated charging points.[4]

The company was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur David Martell. In June 2018, BP announced that it had entered into an agreement to buy Chargemaster for £130m,[5] with the company to be rebranded BP Chargemaster.[6] Further rebranding to 'bp pulse' took place in December 2020.


Chargemaster was founded in Luton in 2008 by David Martell, the founder and former CEO of Trafficmaster.[7] Shareholders included the venture capital arm of BMW, BMW i Ventures,[8] and technology company Qualcomm.[9]

The company launched its POLAR network of public charging points in 2011.[10] By 2017, the network had over 5,000 public charging points,[11] just under 40% of the total of more than 13,000 charging points in the UK.[12]

In 2012, Chargemaster announced its involvement in a trial of wireless charging for electric vehicles in London, in partnership with Qualcomm.[13] Growth capital, initially £3 million, was invested by Beringea in 2014.[14][15]

Chargemaster launched its POLAR Plus subscription scheme in 2015, allowing members to pay a monthly fee for access to its public charging network, with points earned each time a member uses a public charging point, which could be traded for a week-long experience in one of a fleet of electric vehicles operated by Chargemaster, including a BMW i8 and a Tesla Model S.[16]

Chargemaster acquired Hereford-based GB Electrical, a national electrical contractor specialising in the installation of electric vehicle charging points, in 2015.[17] The business had been working with Chargemaster since 2013 and is an authorised installer of charging points installed under both the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme, administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.[18][19] Following the acquisition, Chargemaster announced a £15 million investment in its charging network to create 2,000 new charging points, which would include new ways to access the points, including contactless payments, alongside existing access methods of RFID cards and smartphone apps.[20]

In 2017, the company acquired the electric vehicle charging point supplier Elektromotive, including its charging network management subsidiary, Charge Your Car,[21] to form the UK's largest electric vehicle infrastructure provider.[22][23]

After being acquired by BP in 2018, the company's legal name changed from Chargemaster plc to Chargemaster Limited.[24] Martell retained a board position until June 2019.[25] Later that year, the company moved from Luton to newly built headquarters in the Linford Wood area of Milton Keynes.[26] In December 2020, the POLAR and Chargemaster brands were replaced by 'bp pulse'.[27]

Chargemaster has been listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of top performing British companies since 2014.[28]


Chargemaster charging points at an Asda store in Inverness
Chargemaster charging points at an Asda store in Inverness
A Chargemaster charging point
A Chargemaster charging point

Charging units

Chargemaster supplies wall-mounted charging points and floor-standing charging posts with AC power ratings of 3.6 kW, 7.2 kW and 22 kW, and floor-standing rapid chargers, with power ratings of 43kw AC and 50kw DC. The 3.6 kW and 7.2 kW charging units require a minimum single-phase electricity supply. The 22 kW and rapid charging units require a three-phase electricity supply.

Chargemaster launched a new rapid charger in 2015, which is produced in its Milton Keynes factory. The Chargemaster 'Ultracharge' unit features a 50 kW-rated CHAdeMO connector, a 43kw-rated AC Type 2 connector and a 50 kW-rated CCS connector.[29]

Chargemaster installed their first 150kW rapid charger in 2019; these chargers are supplied by ABB and feature both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors. Chargemaster aims to have 400 of these chargers at BP forecourts.[30]

Home charging

Chargemaster has partnerships to provide home charging units for owners of electric vehicles made by several manufacturers, including BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz,[31] Mitsubishi,[32] Nissan,[33] Renault,[34] and Toyota.[35]

The company is also the home charging partner for The London Taxi Company and provides charging units for drivers of its TX eCity plug-in hybrid taxi.[36]

The company's home charging units are approved by the UK government's Office for Zero Emission Vehicles[37] and are eligible for the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which provides funding of up to 75% (capped at £350) towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK.[38]

Workplace charging

Chargemaster supplies charge points to workplaces, including supermarkets,[39] local authorities[40] and other businesses.[41]

The company's workplace charging units are approved by the UK government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles[42] and are eligible for the government's Workplace Charging Scheme, which subsidises the cost of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations.[43]

Public sector charging

Chargemaster has installed over 600 charge points for more than 50 local authorities.[44][45][46]

In 2016, Chargemaster was awarded a £2.3 million contract to provide additional charging points in Milton Keynes, including for two new petrol-station-style rapid charging hubs.[47]

In 2017, Chargemaster was awarded a contract to supply its Ultracharge rapid charger under a Transport for London contract to provide public rapid charging points for The London Taxi Company's forthcoming TX eCity plug-in hybrid taxi.[48] The £18 million Transport for London project aimed to create a network of 300 rapid charging points in London by 2020.[49]


Pulse public charging network

The company operates 'bp pulse', the largest electric vehicle charging network in the UK, operating more than 5,000 public charge points.[50][51] The network is accessible via either a pay-as-you-go 'instant access' scheme or a monthly subscription scheme, with charging points accessed via an RFID card or fob.[52] Prior to December 2020, the schemes were marketed as 'POLAR Instant' and 'POLAR Plus' respectively.[53][54]

Owners of BMW i models can access the network through membership of the BMW i ChargeNow service.[55]

Charge Your Car

The Charge Your Car subsidiary provides "back office" services to charge point owners, in many cases local authorities. CYC handles user registration and billing, and provides a map of charge points, but does not own or maintain the equipment.[56]

Electric Vehicle Experience Centre

In 2017, Chargemaster won the contract from Milton Keynes Council to operate the UK’s first multi-brand electric car showroom, the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, as part of the UK government’s Go Ultra Low Cities programme.[57][58][59]


Chargemaster has partnerships with car manufacturers, hotels, supermarkets and motor industry organisations, including: The AA,[60] Q Park,[61] Waitrose,[62] and Accor for its Novotel and Ibis hotel brands.[63]

Chargemaster installed 78 charge points for the London Fire Brigade, the majority of which are accessible by its staff, but nine of which (at Croydon, East Ham, Edmonton, Finchley, Hainault, Harold Hill, Hornsey, Ilford and New Malden fire stations) are publicly accessible.[64]

The company is the official supplier of charging infrastructure to the FIA Formula E electric motor racing series. Chargemaster facilitates wireless charging of the official course cars, including the BMW i8 safety car and the BMW i3 medical car.[65][66]


  1. ^ "Chargemaster increase factory capacity and release new fast charge unit". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Unveil for UK's first home-made EV charger". Intelligent Mobility Insight. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Reliability begins at home". The Electric Taxi. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  4. ^ "10,000th EV charging point installed by Chargemaster". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  5. ^ "BP buys UK's largest car charging firm Chargemaster". BBC News. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  6. ^ "BP to acquire the UK's largest electric vehicle charging company". BP. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Chargemaster". Fast Track. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  8. ^ "BMW will invest in electric car charging company". Automotive News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Qualcomm invests in Chargemaster to deploy wireless charging in UK". Charged EVs. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Chargemaster to unveil 4,000 electric car charging points". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Chargemaster to invest £15 million in EV charging network". Fleet News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Charging Point Statistics 2017". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Europe's biggest wireless charging trial begins in London". The Engineer. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Beringea Invest £3million in Chargemaster". Autovolt Magazine. 14 July 2014. Archived from the original on 29 September 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Proven VCTs successfully sell stake in Chargemaster as part of BP acquisition". ProVen VCT. 4 September 2018. Archived from the original on 6 November 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  16. ^ "'Netflix for EVs' offers FREE loan of a BMW i8". Motoring Research. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Electrical company switches owners". Worcester News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme: list of installers". Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Workplace Charging Scheme authorised installers". Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Chargemaster to add 2,000 additional charging points to Polar network". Fleet News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Chargemaster / Elektromotive merger inquiry". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  22. ^ "Zap-Map adds dynamic data across Chargemaster's POLAR EV charging network". Traffic Technology Today. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  23. ^ Puddicombe, Daniel (23 January 2017). "Chargemaster acquires EV infrastructure company". BusinessCar. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  24. ^ "CHARGEMASTER LIMITED". Companies House. Retrieved 21 January 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "David Kenneth MARTELL - Personal Appointments". Companies House. Retrieved 16 August 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "BP Chargemaster to move HQ to Milton Keynes". Insider Media Ltd. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "Introducing bp pulse". BP Chargemaster. 3 December 2020. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Chargemaster". Fast Track. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Ultracharger launched by Chargemaster". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  30. ^ Chargemaster (15 August 2019). "BP Chargemaster previews first 150kW charger site". bp pulse. Retrieved 16 December 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ "Mercedes-Benz partners with Chargemaster for home charging solution". GreenFleet. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  32. ^ "Buy a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and get a free home charger". Motoring Research. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  33. ^ "Chargemaster and Pod Point to provide free home charging unit for Leaf finance purchases". Fleet News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  34. ^ "Renault Zoe Plugs In With Chargemaster". Optimum Fleet. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Chargemaster - The perfect partner for Prius Plug-in". Toyota. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Chargemaster wins London Taxi Company's homecharging contract". SMMT. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  37. ^ "Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme approved chargepoint model list - GOV.UK". Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  38. ^ "Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure". Office for Low Emission Vehicles. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Charging ahead with Electric Vehicles". Waitrose. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  40. ^ "More council car charge points in West Suffolk". Bury Free Press. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  41. ^ "Alphabet powers growth in electric mobility with Chargemaster". Business Car Manager. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  42. ^ "Workplace Charging Scheme approved chargepoint list - GOV.UK". Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  43. ^ "OLEV releases details of new workplace electric vehicle charging scheme". Clean Energy News. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Second electric vehicle charge point installed in Daventry". Daventry Express. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  45. ^ "New electric vehicle charging points rolled out in Haverhill and West Suffolk". Cambridge News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  46. ^ "Milton Keynes reports 300% increase in low-emission vehicles". LocalGov. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  47. ^ "Milton Keynes awards £2.3 million contract to increase EV charging infrastructure". Clean Energy News. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  48. ^ "Chargemaster to provide Ultracharge units for London taxis under TfL contract". Fleet Magazine. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  49. ^ "TfL drives forward £18 million electric vehicle scheme". Transport for London. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  50. ^ "Public Charging Networks". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  51. ^ Wilde, Dominik (11 June 2020). "Mercedes joins UK's largest EV charging network". Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  52. ^ "bp pulse". Zap-Map. Archived from the original on 7 March 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  53. ^ "Polar network". Zap-Map. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020.
  54. ^ Shanahan, Jess (3 December 2020). "bp pulse: the new name for bp Chargemaster and Polar". Zap-Map. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  55. ^ "ChargeNow". ChargeNow. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  56. ^ Lilly, Chris (27 May 2020). "Charge Your Car network". Zap-Map. Archived from the original on 4 May 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  57. ^ "Go Ultra Low Cities winners announced". Go Ultra Low. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  58. ^ "Chargemaster to run EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes". Next Green Car. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  59. ^ "Milton Keynes' EV charging infrastructure to be expanded". Adjacent Open Access. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  60. ^ "AA and Chargemaster partner to encourage EV uptake". BusinessCar. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  61. ^ "Chargemaster Ultracharger units installed at London Q Park sites". Zap Map. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  62. ^ "Waitrose to install electric charging stations". Fleet News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  63. ^ "Accor to roll out electric car charging at UK hotels". Big Hospitality. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  64. ^ "London Fire Brigade opens vehicle charge points". Air Quality News. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  65. ^ "Chargemaster becomes official charging infrastructure supplier to Formula E". FIA Formula E. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  66. ^ "Chargemaster To Power Formula E As Official Charging Infrastructure Supplier". Inside EVs. Retrieved 7 August 2017.