SSE Enterprise was tasked with developing EV charging sites at London lock-up garages in a partnership with InfraTech Property Solutions (IPS). The hubs aim to combine fast-charging bays in pre-existing garage locations.
The charging sites have been dubbed Digital Community Hubs and will combine rapid charging with 5G and Edge computing technology, SSE has explained. Each site will consist of 10–20 rapid charging bays, as well as solar and battery technology and other distributed energy generation, designed to help ease the pressure on the grid.
The project team is aiming to pilot the first site near Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 later in the year. At this location, it should be easy to serve both local electric delivery vehicles as well as electric taxis. With a broader view, the hub infrastructure will be designed, developed and operated by SSE Enterprise for rollout throughout London and other counties at up to 1,000 IPS managed sites.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set a target of providing 50,000 charge points across London by 2025. Kevin Welstead, SSE Enterprise EV Sector Director, says “Space in the capital to build charging hubs is like gold dust, but thanks to the network of lock-up garages tucked away across the city managed by IPS, we can build a network that could charge a tenth of all EVs in London.”
Interestingly for transport planners, the UK Department of Transport statistics show that online shopping could grow by a third by 2030. With the current Covid-19 restrictions propelling logistics and online deliveries into a different scale of operation, it is not hard to see how charging infrastructure will have to strategically optimise space and opportunity.
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