Investment boost for electric charging infrastructure

UK electric vehicle drivers who regularly drive in Europe will be relieved to know that rollout of charging points across Europe is picking up pace.

Ionity, the car manufacturer-led electric vehicle charging network, has raised £590m to boost charging stations across Europe to 1,500. The company currently operates more than 400 ultra-fast charging stations featuring 1,500 charging points along European motorways in 24 countries.

With the backing of several vehicle manufacturers, it has an ambitious goal to increase the number of charging points to 7,000 by 2025.

As part of the network expansion, the company will look to acquire more of its own properties and build and operate its own service stations. It recently unveiled ‘Oasis’, a concept designed to showcase what the charging experience of the future could look like. The goal is to offer charging stations that are covered from adverse weather and welcoming charging parks located alongside cafés, restaurants and shops.

Boost to UK charging in rural areas

In the UK, rollout of charging points in rural areas remains a challenge. With backing from the Government, a group of private and public organisations have embarked on an eight-month project to provide solutions to improve public charging provision in rural regions.

Innovate UK has awarded £335,000 to Bonnet, EDF, DG Cities and Devon County Council to work on the Rural Electric Mobility Enabler (REME) project.

The project focuses on Devon, using the council’s data to understand seasonal flows of people to the area and how this will impact future public charging demand.

DG Cities and EDF will work out where in regional areas it would be necessary - but difficult - to implement public EV charge points.

Bonnet, an EV charging platform, is using its consumer-facing app to offer drivers access to private charge points in rural areas, when demand is high.

Following the trial period after March 2022, the partners hope to propose the new business model to other rural councils in the UK.

Patrick Reich, co-found at Bonnet, said: “Electric charging provision is lacking in rural regions across the country, and we’re honoured to be collaborating with these partners to find solutions to these issues.

“Innovative solutions need to be developed to combat drivers’ EV charging anxiety, especially in tourist hotspot regions across the country.”

Devon County Council and its partners at Devon Climate Emergency have already delivered more than 400 charging bays across the county.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said the delivery of a network of charging points in Devon is one of its priorities over the next year.

Davis added: “We know that nine out of 10 drivers in the county we surveyed would like to make the transition to EVs over the next few years, so we have to be prepared.

“A vital part of that is better understanding the challenges of access to EV chargers and the associated energy supply from the grid, which will be caused by this increase in EV usage.”

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