£75 million to expand UK’s portfolio of rapid EV chargers

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Osprey Charging, a UK company that is building a network of rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers, is investing £75 million ($103.4 million) in high-powered EV charging hubs across the UK by 2025.

The aim is to address range anxiety and the inadequate EV charging infrastructure, factors that are hindering an increase in the use of EVs.

Some 1,500 rapid EV chargers developed by Finnish firm Kempower will be installed for the first time in the UK. The 150-175KW chargers will be installed along roads and adjacent to motorways to encourage consumers to switch to EVs as the UK moves closer to its 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.

Kempower’s technology enables more locations than ever to host multiple rapid chargers on a single site without compromising on charging power or requiring prohibitively expensive grid connections, according to a statement. The technology also reduces the physical footprint of each charger by 74%.

The technology can intelligently balance the load to maximise the amount of charge that each vehicle receives. For instance, if multiple EVs are charging at the same location, the technology distributes energy based on the energy demand/battery percentage of EVs connected to the system. This will help reduce waiting times for charging, maximise the speed and availability of chargers for drivers, and increase consumer footfall for the landowners hosting the hubs.

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The EV chargers will add 100 miles of range for an EV in 10 minutes and are interoperable with all EVs on the market.

The technology is already being installed at four sites as part of the initiative with the first hub set to open in October in Wolverhampton. The target is to construct ten hubs by the end of 2021 and 150 hubs in the next four years.

Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging, said: “The EV market is booming, with sales up over 117% year-on-year and EV adoption continuing to grow exponentially. In less than nine years’ time, buying a new petrol or diesel car will be impossible, so it’s crucial that public charging infrastructure stays ahead of the curve.

“Our rollout of hubs across the country’s major transport routes will ensure drivers are supported with convenient, reliable, on-the-go charging, delivering the best possible consumer experience for UK motorists.”

Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at National Grid, adds: “The widespread transition to EVs means we need to rethink how we make, move and use energy. The power demand for charging will be significant, so it’s crucial that we use the cleanest and cheapest power in our cars and to make the most of each grid connection. By optimising power management at charging facilities, we can ensure a smooth transition away from petrol and diesel whilst maintaining a stable and effective electricity grid.”

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