New tech to reduce costs of rapid charger installations by £33.3m

Western Power Distribution is investing more than £1m to design, test and trial new technology to deliver the electricity capacity required for rapid EV chargers at service stations

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A new project that aims to reduce the cost of installing rapid charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) at service stations has been launched.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is investing more than £1 million to design, test and trial new technology to deliver the electricity capacity required for rapid EV chargers, which is expected to help save almost £500,000 per site installation compared to the technology currently used.

This would represent a total saving of £33.3 million across the UK if it were to be rolled out to 75% of existing service stations, it states.

The ‘one size fits all’ solution will provide “plug and play” components, which WPD suggests can easily and quickly delivery capacity for around 40 rapid chargers per service station site.

The project is currently at the design stage, with the build due to start in October 2020.

It is being launched in collaboration with the UK’s largest motorway services operator Moto, aiming to get rapid charging up and running at its Exeter service station by March 2021.

The installation will be trialled over a six-month period to evaluate the performance of the new solution, the benefits generated and the associated learnings.

Paul Jewell, WPD’s DSO Development Manager said: “Government and industry have long identified the importance of making widespread rapid charging available at service stations. If we are to encourage the take up of EVs, we need to make charging in all scenarios easier and quicker. Our Take Charge project provides a ready-made solution for the installation of rapid chargers at service stations. Not only will the project cut costs, but it will make the installation of rapid chargers easier across the whole of the UK.

“Ultimately it is our hope that this project will ensure that EV drivers on journeys of all lengths are never far away from a rapid charger and that service stations have the capacity required to meet expected demand.”

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