‘World’s first’ mini pop-up solar EV charging hub unveiled

Developed by 3ti, it has been installed at the University of Surrey-owned Surrey Research Park, Guildford, which is home to more than 200 businesses

Big Zero Report 2023

A mini pop-up solar car park and electric vehicle (EV) charging hub, claimed to be the first of its kind in the world, has been unveiled.

Developed by 3ti with Cambridge Design Partners, the solar car park, dubbed Papilio3, can be deployed in just 24 hours and has been built around a recycled shipping container.

The solar and battery charging system, which optimises the speed of charge and reduces the carbon intensity of the electricity used, can support up to 12 fast EV charge points.

The unit, which is fitted with three modular canopies that support 36 solar panels and battery storage capacity of up to 259kWh, is available on a rental contract, requiring no capital investment from customers.

It has been designed for rollout at workplaces as well as public destinations such as hospitals, hotels, sports or shopping centres and town centres.

Tim Evans, 3ti founder & CEO said: “Overnight charging at home generally provides the most cost effective, carbon efficient, sustainable form of EV charging, but in the UK, around 50% of households will not be able to do this. If you live in a flat, a tower block, a rented house, in temporary accommodation or even in a £10m terraced town house in Chelsea, you’re probably not going to be able to charge an EV at home.

“We believe that solar and battery boosted destination and workplace charging will become the best EV charging solution for drivers, irrespective of the type of home they live in. By utilising dwell times of several hours, when cars are parked at work or when the driver is visiting a shopping or leisure venue, for example, 3ti’s system ensures that EVs can achieve a level of charge that covers day to day driving needs and does it in the most low carbon way.”

The pop-up mini solar car park and EV charging hub has been installed at the University of Surrey-owned Surrey Research Park, Guildford, which is home to more than 200 businesses, from start-ups to global corporates such as Airbus and BAE Systems.

Grant Bourhill, Chief Executive Officer at Surrey Research Park added: “The University of Surrey and Surrey Research Park have a long history of working with industry to drive innovation. We pride ourselves on creating an environment that supports the entrepreneurial community to develop and grow.

“The roll out of Papilio3 reflects our commitment to sustainability in addition to testing new innovation and supporting business growth. The University of Surrey has recently improved its position to 55th in the global sustainability rankings of over 1400 institutions and the work with 3ti is yet another example of our sustainability commitment.”

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