BP Chargemaster and its network arm Polar have opened what they claim to be Britain’s biggest rapid-charge hub in Milton Keynes. Up to eight electric vehicles can charge with up to 50 kW at the multi-standard stations. The set-up uses existing facilities.
Milton Keynes, a “new town” specifically redeveloped in the 1960ies to incorporate an ever bigger car fleet, now has one of the UK’s largest charge parks. Despite having the country’s biggest names on board, Milton Keynes Council, with its contractors Ringway designed and constructed the hub as part of its Go Ultra Low City programme. Funding for the project came from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), as part of a £9m investment package to support the growth of electric vehicles in Milton Keynes.
Polar and Chargemaster with its new owner British Petrol (BP) will operate the hub that is located just off the M1 motorway.
A canopy covers the eight charge spots where electric vehicles can charge with up to 50 kW with facilities for waiting drivers being nearby at an existing Coachway building. This fits within BP Chargemaster’s strategy of wanting to set up charging opportunities at existing rest stops.
The opening of the new hub gathered Britain’s most widely available electric car models such as the BMW i3s, Hyundai Kona Electric, Jaguar I-PACE, Kia Soul EV, Nissan LEAF, Renault ZOE, Volkswagen e-up!, and Volkswagen e-Golf all using the hub. Since it went live, the site has already been used to charge more than 500 electric vehicles, claims BP Chargemaster in a press briefing.
BP’s acquisition of charging infrastructure provider Chargemaster was announced in June 2018. The name has now changed to BP Chargemaster and launched a corresponding website. Chargemaster operates the POLAR network in the UK with over 6,500 charging points.