Huge charge network planned by manufacturer partnership

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 13:11
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rapid charge network

Rapid Charge Network launch

Joint EU project will give electric vehicle (EV) drivers an extensive Rapid Charge Network across the UK connecting Ireland and Europe.

Nissan is leading a partnership of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) manufacturers in a joint project to create a multi-standard charge network through the United Kingdom and Ireland.

As well as helping to finance the €7+ million scheme, the consortium is providing other members of the project with the benefit of its extensive experience in the BEV field.

Nissan is joined in the project by BMW, VW and Renault – the first time leading BEV companies have united to accelerate the growth of the EV charging infrastructure, and is a huge step towards making zero-emission mobility a market reality. The project, managed by Zero Carbon Futures in Sunderland, also draws on the network expertise of ESB, one of Ireland’s foremost energy companyies and Newcastle University.

When complete, the UK Rapid Charge Network (RCN) will comprise more than 70 multi standard rapid chargers covering some 1,100km of major trunk routes and providing EV-friendly links to five seaports and five international airports.

“The UK’s Rapid Charge Network will provide a vital sense of security for all EV drivers, as well as helping to promote the advantages of zero emission mobility to others,” said Olivier Paturet, General Manager, Nissan Europe Zero Emission Strategy and RCN Project Leader. “This project will have a major impact on the decarbonisation of European transport, and Nissan is thrilled to contribute to its viability.”

Running on two priority road axes on the mainland of the UK, the RCN will link major ports and cities including Stranraer, Liverpool, Holyhead, Birmingham, Felixstowe, Leeds and Kingston upon Hull. There will also be networks embracing Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Significantly, the rapid chargers are the latest state-of-the-art multi-standard units and are compatible with cars using 44kW CCS, 44kW CHAdeMO or 43kW AC systems. This will ensure that EV drivers travelling in the UK and Ireland can undertake long journeys secure in the knowledge that they will never be far from a rapid charger.

Baroness Kramer, UK Minister of State for Transport said: “We are serious about plug-in vehicles and have a comprehensive package of measures to help consumers and industry make the switch to electric. The UK now has the best rapid charging network in Europe. Projects like this highlight how industry is showing its confidence in the rapidly growing market.”

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s TEN-T Programme, which aims to improve transport infrastructure across Europe and will run on the European Union’s two priority axes. It was among the 172 projects selected from the 2012 Call for funding.

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