BP has opened what it claims is the UK’s largest electric car charging station, which is capable of supporting up to 180 vehicles at a time.
The Gigahub at the NEC in Birmingham – near major junctions for the M42 and M6 motorways – can charge up to 30 vehicles on 300kW DC connections at any one time and a further 150 at slower, 7kW AC charge points.
The site also features a drive-through Starbucks outlet, allowing motorists to purchase refreshments before or after they charge.
It is the third BP Gigahub to begin operation, following one in Park Lane, central London, and another at Gatwick airport.
Akira Kirton, vice-president of BP Pulse UK, said the new site is one of “hundreds of hubs” it plans to open this decade “in places EV drivers need them”, such as on motorways.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who was present at the opening of the Gigahub, added that it is “the biggest private investment in electric charging in the UK”, marking “a significant step in our roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure”.
The site was developed and installed by infrastructure specialist The EV Network (EVN), which has signed a “long-term” contract with the NEC Group to expand its charging offering.
Reza Shaybani, CEO and co-founder of EVN, said: ““The NEC was a perfect location that is not only geographically key, but of national significance, to support the EV charging landscape. EVN secured 6.5MVA grid connection, to support the entire infrastructure. The strategic placement and impressive scale of this charging hub within the UK’s transport infrastructure offers reassuring support to drivers journeying between cities.”
Shaybani added that the firm is investing £100 million in projects this year and aims to spend a further £300 million by 2025.