Western Power Distribution has added capacity for 80 new rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers at Moto’s Exeter motorway service station.
The expansion forms part of the network operator’s wider £1 million Take Charge Project, which is aiming to provide the electrical capacity for EV chargers at 75% of existing service stations across its network The company believes this could lead to savings of over £33 million.
The technology integrated into the Moto Exeter service station is a ‘one size fits all solution’ and is designed to make rapid charging at motorway service stations easier for both the customers and the service station operators.
By utilising ‘plug in and play’ components, the technology can deliver capacity for up to 80 rapid chargers of 150kW capacity at each motorway service site. This will help avert the need to build additional complex and costly infrastructure that requires a lot of space.
“Our Take Charge project provides a ready-made solution for the installation of rapid chargers at service stations. Not only will the project cut costs, but it will make the installation of rapid chargers easier across the whole of the UK,” Paul Jewell, development manager at Western Power Distribution Systems, said.
“However, in order to have the number of rapid chargers required to meet the increased demand over the next decade, motorway service stations will require the electrical capacity of a small town. Providing this capacity through existing technology and infrastructure can be disruptive and expensive.”
A six-month trial period will be conducted for the installation in order to evaluate its performance, the benefits that are generated as a result as well as other opportunities to learn and optimise the technology to better facilitate customers and service station operators.
The service station is situated along one of the major routes into Devon and Cornwall. In doing so, the South West gains innovative charging solutions for EVs in an easily accessible area for motorists. Several other electric charging hubs have been developed across Moto’s service stations in the UK.
“Western Power Distribution’s Take Charge project will be a game changer for Moto if it’s rolled out across the UK. This innovative solution should allow us to better overcome one of the key challenges associated with the roll out of the biggest EV charging network on the UK’s motorways – access to sufficient electricity,” said Ken McMeikan, chief executive at Moto.
Exeter had previously been touted as a potential area for an electric charging hub for Moto as part of a deal with GRIDSERVE to integrate 24 high-power EV chargers alongside Swansea and Burton-in-Kendal.
The site in Exeter is expected to see the most installations, with an initial 12 high-power 350kW chargers, and a further 12 more due to be installed later this year.
In contributing to the effective rollout of a quick and easy to install solution for charging infrastructure, Western Power Distribution is catering for the growing EV market which has seen more electric cars bought so far in 2022 than over the entirety of 2020.
This upward trajectory in the adoption of EVs is expected to continue for the rest of the decade as the UK races towards the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles in 2030.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by Centrica’s Hive revealed 54% of UK drivers want to switch to an electric car within the next five years.