Electric vehicle charging superhub launches in Oxford

The Energy Superhub Oxford will be powered entirely by renewable energy and will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at the Redbridge Park and Ride.

An electric vehicle (EV) charging hub that claims to offer a blueprint for cities around the world to scale up green power has launched in the UK city of Oxford.

The Energy Superhub Oxford will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride. It will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

With 10 MW of installed capacity on site, the hub can scale up with EV adoption to provide charging for 400 vehicles, helping to support the estimated 36 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2040.

Decarbonisation of transport

The project is part of a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs developed by Pivot Power, which combines transmission-connected batteries and power infrastructure for EV charging to enable more renewables and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.

Unlike other UK charging hubs, the site is directly connected to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network via a four-mile underground cable, which will deliver 10 MW of power to quickly and simultaneously charge hundreds of EVs without putting additional strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.

Fastned, the European EV rapid charging company, has initially installed 10 charging bays at the Superhub with 300 kW of power available, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for hundreds of EVs per day. Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, has deployed 20 x 7-22 kW charging bays.

A further 12 x 250 kW Tesla Superchargers will be available for Tesla owners. Work to install Wenea’s EV charging stations was carried out by ODS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxford City Council.

Pivot Power’s network can be expanded to key locations throughout Oxford to help decarbonise public and private transport, taxis and commercial fleets, supporting Oxford’s net zero 2040 target, as well as providing infrastructure for the pilot Zero Emission Zone that applies fees to any non-electric vehicle entering the central zone.

A substation has already been installed at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot, ready to support the company’s plans to introduce more than 100 electric buses in the coming two years.

As part of the project, Energy Superhub Oxford has also supported the decarbonisation of Oxford City Council’s fleet of maintenance vehicles, managed by ODS. In total, Energy Superhub Oxford has contributed almost £900,000 towards the procurement of 40 EVs, including cars, vans, road sweepers, tipper trucks and the city’s first all-electric bin lorry.

“Oxford has a history of being ambitious as we look to adopt new and exciting transport approaches in our city,” said councillor Imogen Thomas, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice, Oxford City Council.

“Redbridge was the location of the country’s first full running Park & Ride in 1973, and now almost 50 years later, we are home to Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub. In order to achieve a Zero Carbon Oxford by 2040 we need to encourage uptake in electric vehicles, and drivers want to know that they can charge their vehicles quickly and efficiently. The completion of Energy Superhub Oxford is an exciting step for our city and the future of EV charging.”

Hybrid battery system

In addition, Pivot Power is activating the Energy Superhub Oxford’s hybrid battery system, which will underpin local and national clean power systems and support the UK’s transition towards a zero-carbon energy system.

The battery system, which stores renewable energy at times of high supply, will provide essential flexibility to the UK’s grid as renewable energy is scaled up. During periods when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, the battery will discharge, helping to ensure electricity is secure and reliable throughout the day. This will be essential if the UK is to reach its goals of 50GW of offshore wind and 70GW of solar capacity by the 2030s, as well as fully decarbonising electricity by 2035.

Pivot Power plans to deploy up to 40 Energy Superhubs across the UK, with the next two projects already underway in Coventry and Sandwell, to the northwest of Birmingham. Once complete, the network could provide almost 10 per cent of the energy storage that the UK is predicted to require by 2035.

Source: smartcitiesworld.net