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Lock-up garages could be transformed into EV charging hubs

Lock-up garages could provide ‘a new generation’ of electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs.

A partnership will combine the EV infrastructure expertise of SSE Enterprise and access to hundreds of lock-up garage sites across London managed by InfraTech Property Solutions (IPS).

The two companies believe that a lock-up garage site could make way for smart charging sites, known as Digital Community Hubs (DCHs) which combine rapid charging with 5G and Edge computing technology. A DCH will consist of 10-20 rapid charging bays and even an onsite coffee van for waiting drivers.

The project team are hoping to pilot one site near Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 later in the year, a prime position to serve local delivery and taxi EVs. Solar and battery technology, as well as distributed energy generation, will also be deployed at the hubs to ease pressure on the electricity grid.

The charging sites will be located across the capital to provide round the clock charging where it is needed most. Rapid and even ultra-fast charging technology will cut charging times to 30 minutes and even 10 minutes for top-ups.

The EV hub infrastructure will be designed, developed and operated by SSE Enterprise, with the aim of being rolled out across London and the Home Counties at up to 1,000 IPS managed sites.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set a target of providing 50,000 charge points across London by 2025. This new partnership could potentially meet around 10% of this required capacity.

Kevin Welstead, SSE Enterprise EV Sector Director, said if the community hub network was rolled out fully, it could charge over 100,000 cars every year – or 4% of the 2.66m cars in London today.

He said: ‘This project has the capability to provide the mass rollout of EV charging that London is crying out for as more and more consumers switch to EV. Space in the capital to build charging hubs is like gold dust, but thanks to the network of lock up garages tucked away across the city managed by IPS, we can build a network that could charge a tenth of all EVs in London.

‘If we’re serious about bringing cleaner air to the streets of London then we need this kind of innovative thinking to meet demand. It is certainly a project with huge potential for London.”

Harriet Dudding and Steve White, Founding Partners of IPS, added: ‘We are excited by partnering with SSE Enterprise as it means we can maximise usage of over 1,000 sites for EV drivers in London to re-charge with total confidence.

Local communities will benefit hugely from our Digital Community Hubs with the provision of the latest technology in EV charging, local Edge computing facilities, 5G telecoms and energy generation effectively in a one stop shop facility. We are proud to be playing a role in London’s clean growth strategy and helping deliver cleaner air for Londoners.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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