Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub is heading to Oxford

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Oxford City Council  and Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, have joined up with Fastned, the European electric vehicle (EV) fast charging company, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, to deliver Europe’s most powerful EV charging Superhub in Oxford.

The hub, initially featuring 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers in a single site, is the most powerful in Europe – with up to 10MW of power on site – and will scale up to help meet the need for EV charging in the area for the next 30 years. It is the first of up to 40 similar sites planned across the UK to help deliver charging infrastructure needed for the estimated 36 million EVs by 2040.

Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades. This innovative network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets.

Fastned will initially install ten chargers at the Superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day. The station will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s trademark solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously.

Redbridge_ver6bus_still_0003The announcement is a key milestone in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), due to open later this year, and comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free.The £41 million world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier. ESO predicts it will save 10,000 tonnes of CO2every year once opened later in 2021, equivalent to taking more than 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032. It provides a model for cities around the UK and the world to cut carbon and improve air quality.

Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power, said: “Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council, added:”For Oxford to go zero carbon by 2040, we need to electrify a lot more of our transportation. As an innovative city embracing technologies and change, Oxford is the natural home for the UK’s largest public EV charging hub.”

Government plans to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality will see millions of EVs in use by 2030, and the project will show how this can be achieved while maintaining a stable and cost-effective electricity network. To accelerate the delivery of ESO, the Government has contributed £10 million to the project via UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.

Rob Saunders, Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UKRI said: “The combination of benefits this project delivers – from storage and AI-powered flexibility services, to greener heating and vehicle charging – are exactly the kind of multipurpose solution that will help drive the UK forward as a leading net zero innovator. The Energy Superhub is also a great demonstration of what can be achieved with a commitment to collaboration.”

Fastned currently has more than 135 charging stations across the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK, and recently raised €150 million to accelerate the growth of its network. Fastned wants to build a network of 1,000 fast charging stations across Europe by 2025 and ESO marks an important step in Fastned’s continued expansion into the UK.

Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned, said: “Our mission is to accelerate the transition towards electric mobility by giving freedom to electric drivers. EV drivers experience this freedom when they know that fast and convenient charging is omnipresent. The Oxford Superhub is a great milestone towards that goal. We need hundreds more and will therefore continue to engage with landowners and partners such as Pivot Power across the UK. Big stations are the only way to provide charging capacity to the exponentially growing number of EVs coming to our roads.”

Gamma Energy Ltd through Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, will deploy 16 7-22kW charging points for ESO. Currently in Spain, Wenea owns more than 170 fast and rapid chargers and recently secured a €100M financing line to deliver an additional 470 rapid chargers over the next 2 years. A further twelve 250kW Tesla Superchargers will be available for Tesla owners.

Any EV will be able to use the site, with chargers open 24/7 and only requiring a simple contactless payment. An on-site café is planned where drivers can buy drinks and snacks, ensuring the charging process is as convenient as possible.