UK to host 2,500 EV fast-charging locations under proposed new network

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Drive Energi is a proposed new EV rapid charging network for the U.K., with a stated 2,500 locations planned to be installed by 2025. The network’s parent company, Box Energi Group Limited, says it will be a mix of public and private charging solutions, supplied with 100% renewable energy. However, no additional details on source generation was provided by the company. Box Energi announced yesterday that it signed a deal with EV DC fast charging manufacturer, Tritium, to be the sole supplier for the network.

At least 100 sites are expected to be installed by the end of January 2020. The planned network for each site will have one to two Tritium Veefil-RT 50kW DC rapid chargers, which the company claims can allow drivers to add 60 miles of range in just 20 minutes.

“With the average daily commute in the UK in the vicinity of 20 miles, a single 20-minute charge will add about three days of range to an EV,“ said Kevin Pugh, business development manager at Tritium. “The sheer scope of the proposed Drive Energi network means that people will easily be able to find a charger, no matter where they are and no matter when they need it.”

The new U.K. charging network will support the growing number of electric vehicles on the roads. This year, the number of battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations grew by 60.3% in the country, with 2,461 new cars in the month of June alone, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data.

Drive Energi leadership said that it chose Tritium to supply its chargers for its proven reliability.  Tritium currently claims to hold approximately 15 percent global market share for 50 kW fast chargers. The manufacturing company recently opened an R&D center in Brisbane, Australia and also a new testing facility in Amsterdam, Netherlands for car manufacturers to test DC charger interoperability for no cost.

The announcement comes just a week after the U.K.’s grid operator, National Grid, released a report on energy transformation pathways calling for smart EV charging infrastructure to achieve a net zero goal, and a smart EV charging market trial in the country.