Electric vehicle (EV) charging network, Be.EV, says it will deploy thousands of new chargepoints across the UK, with many being in the Midlands.
The company is backed by £110 million from Octopus Energy Generation, and is aiming to identify dwell sites, like retail parks, and secure both leasehold and freehold land in or near cities like Birmingham, Derby and Nottingham.
Be.EV has appointed commercial property agent FHP to source new sites in the region, with FHP director and head of Birmingham office, Doug Tweedie, saying that the firm will consider a variety of urban and community locations.
The new charging hubs will be focused around retail parks, pubs and new forecourts which could range from 0.2 acres up, and will be powered by renewable energy generated by Octopus Energy.
In July 2023, Octopus added the Be.EV charging network to its Electroverse charging map. Octopus said the addition would bring 200 current chargepoints into its network, with most being based in the North of England, and that Be.EV had “plans to reach 1,000 ‘future-proof’ chargers by 2024”.
Psst – notice a new name on the Electroverse map over the weekend? 🔎 That’s right, we’re delighted to announce @BeEV_Charging has joined the Electroverse 💚🥳 With plans for 1,000 ‘future-proof’ #EV chargers by 2024, you can get the inside scoop here ⚡: https://t.co/CHZV0KIkPb pic.twitter.com/SNRpcGMX2T— Octopus Electroverse ⚡️ (@OctopusElectro) July 3, 2023
Doug Tweedie said: “We know that mass EV uptake depends on the quality of the charging experience and at the moment, there simply aren’t enough reliable and accessible locations. Be.EV is well funded and has the UK’s fastest growing charging network, with an impressive operational availability rate of 99.6%. We’re thrilled to be working together to expand the community-centred public EV charging network in the Midlands and give more people the confidence to go electric.
“We are in discussions with commercial landlords and private landowners, some of whom were not previously aware that their sites could be redeveloped for EV charging purposes. There are many vacant sites in the region that people haven’t got the finance to develop or perhaps aren’t sure what to do with. Aside from granting a lease, there is very little onus on the landowner, as Be.EV will ensure that each development is fully funded, managed and has access to power.”
Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Be.EV, said: “EV charging provides a great opportunity to increase footfall to sites and create new and sustained income streams for commercial landlords and landowners. With FHP, property owners from Birmingham to Nottingham can benefit from the UK’s EV transition whilst helping to reduce air pollution.”
In recent months there has been some concern from industry bodies like RECHARGE UK that the rollout of EV charging infrastructure is not keeping pace with the growing adoption of EVs. RECHARGE UK published a report in July calling on the government to take action now to develop a plan for the rollout of EV charging infrastructure.
RECHARGE UK has also warned that the EV skills gap is threatening the government’s chargepoint target for 2030.