The largest highway EV charging site in the UK has opened, featuring 12 ultra-rapid charging units made by Australia’s Tritium.
Installed by UK charging network provider Gridserve, the 12 high-powered Tritium chargers are located at a new service station at Junction 1 of the M6, a major motorway that circles the city of Birmingham.
Each unit can add up to 350km of driving range to an electric car in 10 minutes (depending on the maximum charging rate of any particular vehicle).
The opening of the site is part of Gridserve’s plan to help prepare the UK for the cease of petrol and diesel car sales in 2030.
To achieve its 2030 internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales ban, the UK government has allocated £1.3 billion ($A2.3 billion) towards accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charging stations across the UK, as well as £582 million ($A1.05 billion) in incentives for EV adopters, and around £500 million ($A901 million) towards the development and production of EV batteries.
The new site follows the opening of the UK’s first EV-only service station forecourt in December, also operated by Gridserve and located in Essex east of London.
“With an increasing demand for high power public charging infrastructure, Tritium is proud to be working in collaboration with Gridserve and Ecotricity to deliver the largest electric vehicle charging facility on Britain’s motorway services,” said Kevin Pugh, Tritium’s UK country manager in a statement.
“Key partnerships like this will be important to scaling up and meeting future demand, with the significant growth of EV uptake in the near future.”
Tritium is also playing a major role in the upgrade of The Electric Highway, construction for which began a decade ago, when electric vehicles were still seen as a nascent technology.
Gridserve will replace existing chargers with Tritium’s 350kW ultra-rapid chargers as part of the major Electric Highway transformation programme funded by Gridserve investor Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC.
“We began building the Electric Highway ten years ago and Moto were one of our founding partners,” said Dale Vince, founder of The Electric Highway.
“Back then, state-of-the-art charging was just 7kW and here we are today at 350kW in just a decade. This is our very first high power installation, and this new technology comes just at a tipping point in the adoption of electric vehicles.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.