Oxford is to be home to 38 fast and ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers as part of a project aiming to provide a global blueprint for cities across the world.
Lauded as Europe’s most powerful EV charging station, the hub – located at Redbridge Park & Ride – is to have up to 10MW of power on site, bringing together Pivot Power, Oxford City Council, Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and European EV charging services provider Wenea for its development.
It is first of up to 40 Superhubs combining energy storage with high-volume grid connections being delivered by Pivot. The site is therefore directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, providing the power required to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without straining the local electricity network or needing costly upgrades.
It will share this connection with a 50MW lithium-ion and vanadium flow hybrid battery provided by Invinity Energy Systems, with the company having signed the first rental contract in the UK for grid-scale vanadium flow batteries in September 2020.
Fastned will initially install ten chargers with 300kW of power at the Superhub, which will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s solar roof solution. These chargers will be open 24/7 and will offer contactless payment, with all makes and models of EVs able to charge.
Gamma Energy Ltd will deploy 16 7-22kW charging points for the Superhub through Wenea, and there will be a further twelve 250kW Tesla Superchargers available for Tesla owners.
While Pivot Power with Oxford City Council are leading on the Superhub, a consortium of UK companies is also working to deliver elements such as 100 ground source heat pumps, the battery storage and smart energy management technologies, with these companies including Habitat Energy and Kensa Contracting.
Today’s (21 May) announcement marks a key milestone in the completion of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, which is due to open in Q4 this year. The £41 million project is set to support Oxford’s goal of being zero carbon by 2040 or earlier, with a second aim of providing a model for cities around the UK and the world to cut carbon and improve air quality.
It has been partly funded by the government, which provided £10 million to the project via UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.
Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned, said that the Superhub is a “great milestone” for ensuring drivers have freedom through fast and convenient charging, but there’s a need for “hundreds more” of these sites.
“Big stations are the only way to provide charging capacity to the exponentially growing number of EVs coming to our roads,” he added.