The year may be coming to a close, but the electric vehicle (EV) sector is showing no sign of slowing down.
From millions of pounds in new EV funding to increasing the UK’s EV charging infrastructure by 30,000, Current± rounds up the latest top stories from the UK’s EV sector below.
Octopus EV surpasses £1 billion funding
Octopus EV has secured a £550 million debt securitisation facility from Lloyds Bank, taking the company’s total EV funding to £1.2 billion.
According to Octopus EV, the funds from Lloyds Bank will be “pivotal” in financing its EV salary sacrifice scheme.
Launched in April 2021 the scheme – dubbed Electric Dreams – follows a similar structure to the cycle-to-work scheme and allows drivers to save 30-40% on a new EV.
At present over 4,000 companies are signed up to the scheme, including Dyson, McLaren and Innocent Drinks.
“Electric cars are revolutionising our roads. With battery prices down 90% since 2010, electric cars are more affordable and can travel further than ever on a single charge. Drivers can fill up at home, work or on public networks, many saving over £1,000 every year on fuel,” said Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus EV.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Lloyds to supercharge the transition, with an additional £550m to help drivers switch from old school gas guzzlers to a cleaner alternative.”
Octopus EV also launched a second-hand salary sacrifice scheme for EVs in July 2023. The ‘Nearly New’ leasing offer allows consumers to purchase second-hand (but less than two-years old) EVs at considerably reduced costs.
Pozitive Energy to install 30,000 UK EV chargepoints
Utility company Pozitive Energy has announced a new partnership with Swiss energy management solutions provider Landis+Gyr to deliver 30,000 EV chargepoints across the UK over the coming five years.
Once the chargepoints are installed, businesses will be able to access end-to-end EV charging infrastructure including the installation and management of Landis+Gyr’s premium EV charging solutions, fixed national pricing, a ‘tap and go’ payment process, and money-saving opportunities through offsetting energy bills from chargepoint use.
“Our partnership with Landis+Gyr represents the largest advancement in the UK’s EV market in decades, and will see us together, driving forward Britain’s ability to reach its Net Zero and low carbon targets,” said Nathan Daniels, head of EVs at Pozitive Energy.
“For too long, the country’s EV charging infrastructure has presented a barrier to consumer adoption. Working with Landis+Gyr to develop this unique approach to EV charging will see UK businesses gain access to revenue generating charge points, while also offering drivers access to a much more robust and easier to use charging network thus benefitting us all in an expanding EV infrastructure.”
Fastned a step closer to its first charging station in Northern Ireland
Fastned has submitted planning applications for two ultra-rapid charging stations in Banbridge and Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Combined, the stations are expected to deliver up to 300kW of charge to all EVs, allowing drivers to add up to 300 miles of range in 20 minutes.
Both of the proposed charging sites will feature 12 ultra-rapid charging points. The Banbridge site will be located near the A1, whilst the Antrim station site will bring ultra-rapid charging to areas north of Belfast.
Mark McCall, co-founding director and chair at the EV Association for Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to welcome Fastned to Northern Ireland. Its ultra-rapid chargers, with its signature solar canopies, will be a major boost for EV drivers in the region.
“Fastned offers some of the fastest chargers available, and it will allow EV drivers to top up their batteries in just a few minutes. This will make it even easier and more convenient to drive an electric vehicle in Northern Ireland.”
Lotus launches new liquid-cooled DC charger
The automotive manufacturer’s EV arm has launched Lotus Flash Charge and has announced the release of its own EV charging solutions, including a 450kW liquid-cooled DC charger.
According to Lotus, a 10% to 80% charge can be achieved using its DC charger in just 20 minutes with a range extension of 74 miles.
The company’s EV charging offering also includes a modular power cabinet with a power output capability of up to 480kW and a charging terminal which, paired with the power cabinet, can charge as many as four vehicles at once.
The charging unit has a maximum output of 600 Amp.
Each of these technologies is liquid-cooled, which, according to Lotus, makes EV charging quicker and easier.
Already circulating in China, Lotus’ EV charging solutions are expected to be deployed across the majority of Europe in Q2 2024.
Commenting on the European launch, Alan Wang, vice-president of Lotus Technology and CEO at Lotus Flash Charge, said: “As more governments are increasing investment into electrification in their journey to net-zero, the demand for a reliable electric vehicle charging infrastructure has never been higher than before. Lotus has developed best-in-class fast charging solutions to deliver a quick and reliable charging experience to meet customer needs.”