Motorway chargers speed up move to net zero

Drivers will be able to boost their electric vehicle in minutes, thanks to a new high-power charging service at Cobham Services

Big Zero Report 2023

Drivers will be able to boost their electric vehicle in minutes, thanks to a new high-power charging service at Cobham Services.

Six new high-power chargers with up to 350kW, using 100% green energy from source to socket, have been installed at Extra Motorway Services’ area on the M25  thanks to work by UK Power Networks. The firm that keeps power flowing across London, the South-East and East of England worked with charge point operator IONITY to energise the new charging points.

Working in motorway service areas brings challenges including managing traffic flow, including lorries within a limited space. Close liaison with Extra helped ensure minimal disruption to customers as Extra rolls out IONITY’s chargers across its network.

Tom Atkinson, senior project designer at UK Power Networks, said: “The next decade is a critical time for the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. We undertook some of the works outside normal working hours to minimise any disruption for customers and we’re delighted with the outcome. We hope to continue our success with this kind of electrical connection and are working closely with various key players in this field to develop a portfolio of projects.”

David Metcalfe, roll out manager at IONITY, said: “The UK needs high power charging stations in order to support the transition to net zero transportation. As IONITY and other charge point operators in the UK continue to roll out high power charging infrastructure, it’s crucial that local Distribution Network Operators can quickly and efficiently deliver new large connections.  The project at Cobham with UK Power Networks was a great example of this.”

In November the UK Government unveiled its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, enabling the country to meet its target to reduce carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2050. Transport remains the biggest cause of pollution in the UK, accounting for 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions. UK Power Networks is leading the development of a smart, flexible grid to support electric vehicles, improve air quality and reduce the capital’s carbon footprint. It advises councils, firms and individuals how to best connect EV charge points, and plan electric vehicle fleets.

The electricity firm has also held surgeries with forecourt operators to assess the most cost-effective solutions to transition their premises into electric vehicle hubs. Working with other stakeholders, they have worked to reduce the space requirements for forecourts by 50%, so even small sites can install EV charging infrastructure.

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