10-03-20 EV Charging stations
Electric vehicle charging firm has begun development of its nationwide network of dedicated charging stations, with the first of its planned 100 sites set to open this summer.
The first site to be built as part of the company’s £1bn scheme, near Braintree in Essex, will offer space for 24 vehicles to charge simultaneously at a rate of up to 350kW from its supercharger devices.
The company claims customers will be able to charge within 20-30 minutes at first, but that waiting times will reduce as battery technology evolves. Currently, the only vehicle on sale that can charge at 350kW is the Porsche Taycan, with the Tesla Model 3’s 250kW compatability making it the second fastest.
These charging stations will be powered by a combination of roof-mounted solar panels, separate solar farms and integrated battery storage units, which it claims will ensure “carbon emission targets can be met, whilst also keeping prices low”.
Like a conventional motorway service station, the 2.5-acre (10 000 m2) Braintree facility, just off the A131 will contain a small supermarket, coffee shop and lounge area with Wi-fi and meeting rooms.
It will also feature an ‘education centre for electric vehicles’ aimed at helping customers to “understand, test drive, and secure vehicles that are most suitable for them, with the ultimate aim of providing the confidence and support to transition to an all-electric future”.
The targeting locations are near busy roads, towns, cities and major transport hubs for its charging stations. The firm hopes to have a nationwide network fully operational within the next five years, in line with the UK Government’s bold plan to ban the sale of new combustion-engined cars by 2035.
The project has been partly funded by a £4.86m grant from Innovate UK, a government-backed agency that offers financial support to UK-based technology developers.
“Many more people want to buy electric vehicles but are worried about how to charge them. We will help solve that challenge and deliver the confidence needed to make the switch to electric transport.”
“This will be the most advanced charging facility in the UK, and possibly the world. Drivers will be able to turn up and charge their vehicle at the fastest rate each vehicle can support, using 100% renenewable energy, and with the best possible charging experience.”
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