FUEL retailers worried about new rules forcing them to install electric vehicle charge points have been thrown a lifeline.

Basingstoke-based charging firm InstaVolt is offering to install rapid chargers on forecourts for free, saving operators from having to make significant capital expenditure, and instead making its money from the sale of electricity used by drivers.

Under the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which received its first reading in the House of Commons last week, large fuel retailers and motorway services will have to install electric vehicle chargers on their premises.

The industry has expressed concern about the cost of such a move and a lack of clarity over the definition of the term “large retailers”.

Electric vehicle charging firm InstaVolt is quashing fears with an offer to install them for free.

The company, headquartered in Chineham Business Park, installs and maintains rapid electric vehicle chargers at no cost.

Tim Payne, chief executive officer, said: “Some businesses we speak to can’t quite get their heads around the idea of us installing chargers for free. We’ve had a few councils turn us away initially because they think it’s too good to be true; installing charging points at no cost to the taxpayer.

“We want to reassure fuel retailers that the implications of the new Automated Vehicles Bill needn’t cost them a penny. We can handle everything from obtaining planning permission to upgrading the chargers as technology evolves. What’s more they can actually make a rental income from it.”