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ROUND-UP: Engie rapid network; ChargePoint's record funding; new charging technologies unveiled

Image: Alfa Power

Image: Alfa Power

Engie to roll out rapid EV charging network in Yorkshire

Engie has been appointed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority to install, operate and supply green electricity to a network of 88 rapid electric vehicle chargers aimed at servicing both residents or the region and taxis and private hire vehicles.

After securing almost £2 million from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for the work, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its district partners are providing £1.2 million of match funding to fund the roll-out.

Installations of the charge points are set to get underway in 2019 after Engie identifies suitable and convenient locations. Among those to be installed at 30 in and around Leeds, 20 in Bradford and 17 rapid charging points in Kirklees.

Wilfrid Petrie, chief executive of Engie UK and Ireland, said: “Engie is committed to improving the lives of people in cities and urban areas by tackling air pollution and we hope the provision of rapid electric vehicle charge points across the West Yorkshire region will help encourage more people to choose a low emission vehicle.”

They will be free to use until late October 2021, with each charging point to two bays - one specifically for taxis and private hire vehicles and the other for all other users.

Councillor Kim Groves, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport committee, said: “Installing new charging points at these 88 sites, where people can charge their vehicles for free, is designed to encourage the transfer to electric vehicles.

“Making half the bays exclusively for the use of taxis and private hire vehicles could result in up to 500 diesel taxis and private hire vehicles being converted to hybrid and pure electric versions by 2020, which would reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from taxis by as much as 18%, in line with our target of developing clean energy and environmental resilience for Leeds City Region.”

Image: EVBox.
Image: EVBox.

ChargePoint secures biggest funding round in company history

ChargePoint has secured US$240 million (~£187.9 million) in its latest fundraising round to continue the expansion of its electric vehicle network across Europe and the US.

The Series H funding has proved to be the largest in the company’s history from a range of new investors from the energy, pensions, venture capital, oil and gas, utility, manufacturing, technology and automotive sectors.

The likes of Clearvision, Daimler Trucks & Buses and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) have joined existing invetsors from BMW i Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Linse Capital, and Siemens.

Pasquale Romano, president and chief executive of ChargePoint, said: “The broader energy and mobility ecosystem has recognised that we are at a tipping point in the generational shift to transportation electrification. Leading investors from automotive, utilities, oil and gas, and financial institutions are coming together to support ChargePoint’s vision of an all-electric future as the mass adoption of electric mobility and the transition to electric fleets accelerate.”

ChargePoint will use the latest funding in part to further expand its network by continuing to build its footprint in Europe and North America. This follows the EV charging giant pledging to deploy 2.5 million EV charging points across the two regions by 2025.

Image: ChargePoint.
Image: ChargePoint.

New charging technology for Southwark council

Southwark Council has installed its first electric vehicle chargers with Siemens and ubitricity, which is offering a new kind of combined charger with pay as you go and smart cable functionality.

The council is in talks to install around 60 to help residents in the area charge their vehicles, with the ubitricity SimpleSocketPlus technology able to be used to retrofit the street lights and bollards, eliminating the need for additional infrastructure on the street.

Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member at Southwark Council, said: “These new charge points are making it easier than ever for people who live in Southwark to make the switch to electric vehicles.”

Users can bring their own standard charging cables to plug in and charge via a smartphone, paying a flat rate of 24p/kWh. Alternatively, they can utilise an ubitricity SmartCable to connect and charge from as little as 16.2p/kWh from their own energy tariff.

Chris Beadsworth, director of medium voltage systems at Siemens Energy Management, said: “Siemens as strategic shareholder of ubitricity is working closely with them to provide quality, convenient and open access charging points to help accelerate the increase in privately owned electric vehicles. Our aim is that charging your car should be affordable and as simple as charging your phone.

“By making charging convenient for millions of people in cities, such as London, it will help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, driving a cleaner and greener city.”

Image: Siemens.
Image: Siemens.

Alfa Power doubles fastest charging speed in the UK

Alfa Power has unveiled the first 120kW EV charger in Leeds, doubling the previous benchmark for the fastest charger in the UK.

The ‘ultra-fast’ charger Alfa Power’s previous record of 60kW but has been capped at 100kW until the market requires it full charging speed.

It has been installed within the new clean air zone in Leeds, allowing the business to contribute clean fuel options for motorists in the area.

Like the 60kW rapid charger, the 120kW ultra-fast charger offers simultaneous AC and DC charging options. Both can charge up to four vehicles at a time and unlike others, it offers both DC delivery options (CCS and CHAdeMO) to be used simultaneously as well as Rapid AC type 2 delivery at 43kW and an open type 2 socket that is capable of up to 22kW charging.

Image: Alfa Power.
Image: Alfa Power.

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