This week saw positive developments in the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network including a new metering partnership to support the fast-tracked installation of 10,000 chargepoints and an NHS trust leading the way in fleet electrification.
Current± summarises this week’s top EV stories so far below.
New metering partnerships to fast-track installation of 10k chargepoints
Siemens has confirmed three new partnerships to provide metering and commissioning services that are set to fast-track the installation of 10,000 new EV chargepoints.
The technology company will now provide chargepoint operators Be.EV (who last year received a £110 million investment from Octopus Energy), Blink Charging and Evyye with metering and commission services on every new EV chargepoint at each operator’s site.
This will help the chargepoint operators navigate capacity constraints of energy firms – who are often the principle suppliers of metering technology – and help speed up the installation of charging point infrastructure.
“The UK’s switch to electric vehicles depends heavily on infrastructure keeping pace with consumer demand, so creating innovative ways to speed up the process is vital. We have enhanced our new connection process listening to our clients and industry demands,” said Oliver Brown, CPO metering lead at Siemens GB&I.
“Creating innovative partnerships across the supply chain, such as this, is crucial to cracking the challenges we face in not just accelerating the roll-out of EV infrastructure, but in delivering net-zero more broadly.”
Mer launches NHS trust to lead on fleet electrification
EV chargepoint company Mer has installed 13 chargepoints across all sites at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust to help the trust “take a lead on fleet electrification.”
Working alongside the project was NTW Solutions Ltd, the subsidiary providing a fleet of 1,400 lease cars for Trust employees and 90 service vehicles such as pool cars, vans and trucks.
Mer won the competitive tender on the project after meeting “key criteria” such as providing the ability to set different tariffs, free charging for fleet vehicles, a preferential rate for staff, and a higher rate for visitors.
“Working with Mer to procure these chargers has been an enabler for us to move forward with our decarbonisation strategy. We benchmark ourselves against other trusts in the region and we know that we are out in front in terms of fleet electrification thanks in part to this project,” said Lee Cant, commercial director at NTW Solutions.
“In total 40 percent of the lease cars are now fully electric or plug-in hybrids, while about a quarter of the service fleet is the same,” added Lee. “Some of the service vehicles are larger and they need full payloads for operations like laundry, so they won’t be electrified yet, we’ll concentrate for now on the lighter vans.”
“It was imperative that we could set different rates for public charging, staff charging, and also for our fleet service vehicles,” continued Lee.
“It was important to be able to differentiate for different use cases and also to have different methods of accessing the chargers, from contactless payment to RFID cards and key fobs.
“We were also keen on having a viable management system that we could extract data from, in order to ascertain which chargers were the most popular and identify where we might need additional infrastructure to meet demand.”
Scott Duncan, associate consultant at Mer, added: “We are proud to be helping the Trust with the decarbonisation of its fleet. This was a complex but rewarding project to install chargers across multiple locations. The Trust is making full use of the smart charger technology to set different tariffs for various use cases and utilise Mer’s proprietary back-office software for data analytics.”
Fastned opens its first rapid charging station in St Albans
EV charging company, Fastned, has opened its first ultra-rapid charging station in Griffiths Way Retail Park, St Albans.
The station will initially consist of six charging bays offering up to 300kW of ultra-rapid renewable power, set to charge EVs with up to 300 miles in range in 20 minutes.
The hub is Fastned’s 15th station in the UK and 270th in Europe.
“We are excited that drivers in St Albans can now benefit from the city’s most powerful EV charging station, provided by Fastned, the UK’s best-rated EV charging operator. This is our first station in Hertfordshire and we look forward to welcoming drivers to our highly visible, easy-to-use ultra-rapid charging site,” said Tom Hurst, UK country manager for Fastned.
Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for health and social care, and constituency MP for St Albans added: “I know that local residents have been chomping at the bit for more electric vehicle infrastructure in our area. I welcome Fastned’s investment in an ultra-rapid charging station so that St Albans residents and visitors alike can have the confidence to make the switch to an electric car.”
The news follows an earlier partnership announcement with Newcastle International Airport this June to build a 12-charger hub offering 400kW of renewable power.