It’s all part of Osprey (formerly known as Engenie, see our exclusive Q&A for more information on the company) Charging’s plan to help fill the needs of car drivers in the future and make so-called ‘charging anxiety’ a thing of the past.
The company’s plan to establish 150 ‘hub’ locations (similar in principle to GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourts) includes providing a total of 1500 rapid chargers with DC capacities of between 150 and 175kW – the kinds of speeds accepted by many modern EVs and which will add significant range very quickly. Interestingly, the company will be using this £75m scheme to introduce new charging technology for the first time in the UK.
Developed by charger maker, Kempower, these new-generation chargers help reduce strain on the network and also work together at a charging hub to optimise rapid charging across several vehicles when more than one is plugged in. The smart technology takes advantage of the rate of charge that individual EVs can sustain due to their technology, or state of charge – redistributing available power to where it is most needed. The upshot is reduced waiting times and increased throughput of cars.
Just like the petrol stations many people currently rely on to make long journeys, Osprey will be locating the sites along strategic routes such as A-roads and adjacent to motorways. This will ensure that long-distance EV travel is as convenient as possible.
Four sites are already under construction with the first opening in October on the A463 near Wolverhampton, just off the M6. Ten hubs will be under construction before the end of the year with the remainder coming online over the next four years. Thankfully, all chargers will accept contactless payment, so subscription won’t be an issue.
Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging, said: “Through this rollout we will make charging anxiety a thing of the past. High-powered, multi-charger hubs will herald a new era of public EV charging –enabling mass EV adoption and a clean transport revolution.”
Whilst Osprey Charging’s hubs are fantastic news for current and future EV owners, they will predominantly serve those using strategic routes and who are undertaking a journey. Helping to facilitate charging for those who just want to charge conveniently near home or near a destination is equally important and Shell has just announced plans to install 50,000 on-street chargers by 2025.
These will be installed under Shell’s charging firm, Ubitricity’s banner and – assuming everything goes to plan – will fulfil a third of the 150,000 public chargers that the government wants in place by 2025. Furthermore, the scheme will be on top of an existing plan to install 5000 rapid and ultra-rapid chargers by the same date.
The government is putting up around 75 per cent of the cost through funding. Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said: “As more and more people make the switch to electric; this is a great example of how private investment is being used alongside government support to ensure that our EV infrastructure is fit for the future.”