The system will provide around 100 rapid charger stations for public use at 'competitive rates'.
The UK is set to get a new £1.6 billion rapid charging network for electric cars after the National Grid confirmed a tie-up with battery storage firm Pivot Power. This could mean up to 4,500 new individual chargers.
The program will use massive batteries at electricity substations to give the National Grid more resource to manage the demands of increased household consumption and the popularity of electric vehicles.
By storing excess energy produced during periods of low demand, the National Grid will be able to redeploy the energy at peak times, or charge electric vehicles.
Sites near towns and major roads have been chosen to house rapid charging stations, which Pivot Power claims will offer ‘mass charging at competitive rates, supporting up to 100 rapid 150KW chargers’, and new 350 kW upgrades.
Pivot Power says this will be the world’s largest network of rapid charging stations and will address three key barriers to electric car adoption: charger availability, distance travelled on a charge and cost.
Graeme Cooper, National Grid project director for electric vehicles, said: ‘We expect the use of electric vehicles to grow rapidly. This innovative solution will help accelerate adoption by providing a network of rapid charging stations across the country enabling cars to charge quickly, efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.
‘It will also give the system operator more choice and flexibility for managing the demands in the day to day running of the network, and also help mass EV charging.’
Pivot Power CEO Matt Allen added: ‘We want to future-proof the UK’s energy system and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, helping the UK to clean up its air and meet climate targets. Big problems require big solutions, and we are moving fast to put in place a unique network to support a clean, affordable, secure energy system and embrace the low-carbon economy.’