The National Grid has pitched a network of 50 electric vehicle charging stations with a capacity of up to 350kW across England and Wales, along with a similar network in Scotland.
The Financial Times reports that the company, which runs the UK’s electric grid, has looked into the possibility and has found that strategic placement of the chargers on UK motorways would put 90% of drivers within 50 miles of a charger.
"We want to show that infrastructure needn’t be a barrier. This is not about National Grid charging vehicles, but National Grid enabling the charging to happen. Range anxiety is consistently given as a major reason as to what deters consumers from buying EVs and we have a solution that addresses this," said a National Grid spokesman.
The 350kW chargers could result in EVs being charged in as little as five minutes, depending on battery size. They could also match the demands of hungrier EVs that are on their way shortly; these can only achieve their headline-grabbing recharging times with higher-capacity chargers than those currently installed in the UK. 50 individual chargers are planned for each charging station, meaning 100 chargers when considering both directions of travel.
The chargers would be wired directly into the high-voltage electricity transmission network itself, rather than local grids, dispelling concerns of higher-capacity EV chargers leading to power shortages in more under-strain areas. There are no plans for the National Grid to run the chargers, so the price to charge at one of the points will be decided by the eventual owners of each station. It'll cost between £500 million-£1 billion to install the network at current prices, however this is likely to come down as technology advances, said the Grid spokesman.