Electric Vehicle

UK to setup ultra rapid charging infrastructure

The British Department of Transport (DfT) has set new targets for the development of ultra-rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The plans intend the construction of at least six HPC sites along motorways by 2023.

By 2030 this number is to enlarge to 2,500 high power chargers (150-350 kW) with each site having at least six columns. The DfT goes even further and wants to expand the number of rapid charging points to about 6,000 by 2035. To achieve this target, the government says it wants to work closely with the operators of major service areas.

Although, the DfT has yet to publish details on actual funding measures in its now described ‘Rapid Charging Fund’. It is part of a £500 million commitment for EV charging infrastructure declared as part of the new budget in March.

The communication is more direct, however, on how this high power charger network is to look like. The locations focus on England’s motorways and major A roads. Motorway services shall sport at the minimum six high power chargers with some larger sites having as many as 10-12 HPC columns.

The government also concentrates on usability and expects that drivers can pay for the cost of charging their vehicle using debit or credit card payment at stations funded through the DfT. In the press release, the DfT also demands “there will be clear pricing information available in pence per kilowatt-hour,” thus specifying the need for a calibration standard. Those ideas are in line with the direction presented by the Energy Task Force earlier this year.

The DfT also refers to analysis the government has undertaken to assess the number of charge points required to meet future en-route charging needs when traveling prolonged distances. The department claims that currently, a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid (50kW) charge point anywhere along England’s major roads, with a total of 809 open-access rapid charge points, as of 1 January 2020. This figure excludes Tesla Superchargers. Including Tesla Superchargers, there are 792 rapid and 311 ultra-rapid devices along the strategic road network (SRN), claims the DfT.

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