Sector - Transport & Infrastructure

EV boost as charging hub opens

A new electric vehicle charging hub has been opened in Birmingham, which is large enough to charge 180 cars simultaneously and the largest site in the UK, it marks a significant boost to Britain’s EV network.

The Gigahub™, located at the city’s NEC Campus, is the largest-ever private investment in a UK electric vehicle project to date. The project has been developed by a three-way collaboration between the NEC, EV Network and bp pulse, and is now operated by bp pulse.

The hub is funded by a record £8M million from its investment partner, Zood Infrastructure Limited and is designed to provide 30 super-fast, 300kw DC charging bays and a further 150 7KW a/c charging bays – one of the largest amounts of super-fast chargers in one location in the UK.

This strategically located site is set to become a major transport hub for the future – located in the heart of the UK motorway network, including the M42, M6 and A45 and the new HS2 interchange station.

The site supports the government’s electric vehicle infrastructure strategy and commitment to decarbonising transport, backed with more than £2Bn to support the transition to zero emission vehicles including accelerating the rollout of chargepoint infrastructure.

Alongside this EV boost, the first round of the Government’s £343M Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Capital Fund, has opened. The LEVI fund will ensure the transition to electric vehicles takes place in every part of the country by supporting tens of thousands of local chargepoints, especially for those without access to off-street parking.

Local authorities will receive LEVI funding in two groups, with the first able to apply for their allocated funding from today, to be distributed this financial year. The second group can apply for their funding next financial year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, said: ““This is the biggest private investment in electric charging in the UK and is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s role as a leader in green industries.

“The ground-breaking site will be a major transport hub for the future and marks a significant step in our rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country.”

UK Research and Innovation has also announced that Innovate UK has awarded £5.8M of funding to 12 projects through the Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge Fund. Winning projects include work on best practice in automation and robotics to produce EV chargers, and the scale-up of the assembly manufacturing processes for a rare earth-free permanent magnet generator – allowing us to produce electric machines without using rare earth elements.

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