BP Chargemaster has opened a new rapid EV charging hub in Milton Keynes, claiming it to be the largest of its kind in the UK.
The hub was developed by Milton Keynes Council and contractor Ringway as part of the Go Ultra Low City programme. It was funded as part of a £9 million investment package from a £40 million pot distributed to various local authorities by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
The site hosts eight 50kW rapid chargers that any EV can hook up to and charge from. A universal charging hub gives drivers confidence that they can charge their vehicles and that the infrastructure is there, BP Chargemaster’s Tom Callow told Current±, adding that hubs of this size also help raise consumer awareness.
“It’s a shame if you’re a driver of a different type of EV. You want the kind of experience where you can turn up somewhere and have a really good chance of charging. So it was really important to have chargers that work on every type of EV,” Callow added, continuing that it gives an almost “Tesla-type of experience” that will help “ease people’s minds.”
Over 500 EVs have used the hub since it went live, with the site providing access to the facilities at the main Coachway building, including a café for drivers to pass time in while their vehicle charges.
David Martell, chief executive of BP Chargemaster, said that the hub provides “fantastic, convenient charging” for drivers travelling “within and around Milton Keynes.”
“The eight UK-made Ultracharge rapid chargers join the 300 Fastcharge and 65 rapid chargers that we already operate in the area, which has established itself as a centre of excellence for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”
Over the course of 2019, BP Chargemaster will also be rolling out 150kW charge points at BP forecourts, which Callow says will “probably” allow for 100 miles of range in 10-15 minutes.
BP Chargemaster will also be expanding more 50kW and 7kW infrastructure this year. And two more universal charging hubs in Nottingham and Lancaster are in development, featuring five and six 50kW chargers respectively. There is also the possibility of smaller hubs being developed in Milton Keynes, financed by the £9 million investment from OLEV.