Chargers with up to 350kW charging capacity could be installed in 50 locations on UK motorways, providing easy access to 96% of UK citizens
The National Grid is weighing up plans to install 50 electric vehicle charging stations with a capacity of up to 350kW across England and Wales, along with a similar network in Scotland.
The Financial Times reports that the company, which runs the UK’s electric grid, has looked into the possibility and has found that strategic placement of the chargers on UK motorways would put 96% of drivers within 50 miles of a charger.
The 350kW chargers could result in EVs being charged in as little as five minutes, depending on battery size. They could also match the demands of hungrier EVs that are on their way shortly; these can only achieve their headline-grabbing recharging times with higher-capacity chargers than those currently installed in the UK. Multiple individual chargers are planned for each charging station.
The chargers would be wired directly into the high-voltage electricity transmission network itself, rather than local grids, dispelling concerns of higher-capacity EV chargers leading to power shortages in more under-strain areas.
Graeme Cooper, the National Grid’s electric vehicles boss, revealed the plans at a 3D Energy talk. “For at least England and Wales, we can fix range anxiety with 50 strategic locations for these ultra-rapid chargers. To an extent, this means that 96% of UK drivers would be able to drive in any direction from any location in the UK and be within 50 miles from an ultra-rapid super-charger,” Cooper said, as reported by Clean Energy News.
The Jaguar I-Pace, due in production form at the Geneva motor show next month, is claimed to reach 80% of its 310-mile capacity within 45 minutes, although no infrastructure capable of charging that quickly yet exists in the UK.
Chargemaster is currently working on the implementation of 150kW chargers for the UK, although these aren’t due until next year. As the Government ramps up plans to make EVs the go-to choice amid air quality and European Union CO2 targets, EV charge points will soon become mandatory at all large petrol stations and motorway services.
Matthew Trevaskis, head of electric vehicles at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “This is an important milestone for the development of a strategic, accessible, and reliable electric vehicle charging network in the UK. National Grid will play an increasingly crucial role in EV rollout and it is excellent to see some big-picture thinking from them on this issue. It is now up to Government and regulators to build on the excellent work done to date and to implement documents such as the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.”