The backers of a 700 mile electric vehicle charging network across the British Isles say it means longer EV journeys are now a reality.
The scheme, which sees 74 new state-of-the-art rapid chargers located on major trunk routes spans major trunk roads across the British Isles and mean a vehicle can be charged to 80% within 30 minutes.
Each installation includes at least two of the latest state-of-the-art multi-standard charge points that are compatible with most EVs on sale today: with outlets available for 44kW CCS, 44kW CHAdeMO or 43kW AC systems.
The €7.4 million investment in the Rapid Charge Network was part-funded by the European Union’s Trans European Transport Network programme and by four major EV manufacturers: Nissan, BMW, Renault and Volkswagen. ESB in Ireland and Ecotricity in the UK and are the network operators, providing power to all of the Rapid Charge Network charging stations.
Olivier Paturet, Zero Emission Strategy, Nissan Europe, said, “The Rapid Charge Network is the backbone of a UK-wide electric vehicle infrastructure. Now motorists can go further, faster in their EVs, we’re confident our network will accelerate awareness and uptake of these vehicles by consumers and businesses across the country.”
At its extremities, the network stretches from Stranraer to Suffolk and Hull to Holyhead, and also connecting with Belfast and Dublin.
Dr Colin Herron, Managing Director at Zero Carbon Futures, said, “We’re delighted to have played a part in the development of a network which is providing drivers with what they need: a means of driving further, more quickly in their electric vehicles.”
The new Rapid Charge Network was conceived and implemented by Sunderland-based Zero Carbon Futures to – it says – “meet increasing demand for public charge points and to encourage more motorists to make the switch to plug-in power”.
According to research commissioned by the project and undertaken by Newcastle University, 72% of EV drivers are motivated to use rapid chargers to extend their vehicle’s range for longer journeys. The new Rapid Charge Network meets this demand, enabling motorists to drive further, faster.
Dr Herron, continued, “The development of the network has however not been without its challenges – in particular the lack of available power in some areas which we know will be an issue for the future. We hope to see continued investment into charging facilities in the UK to support the roll-out of the next generation of vehicles.”