Two rapid “filling stations” to fast charge electric vehicles (EVs) are to be installed in Newcastle and Sunderland, helping researchers to understand the future electricity demand.
The stations will have space for six cars each, up to 175kW which equates to 290km of driving in 20mins charging time and allow electric vehicles to charge faster than plugging in at home.
The stations are being designed, built and run by Fastned UK and will be located in the city centres close to major routes.
In Newcastle the site will be at Wellington Street as part of Newcastle University’s Newcastle Helix site and will help guide a research project on EVs.
In Sunderland, Newcastle University said a site had been identified at West Wear Street to the south east of the Wearmouth Bridge and next to the A1018, which it said was one of Sunderland’s busiest central routes with more than 21,000 vehicles using it every day.
Newcastle University professor of transport Phil Blythe said it would be a “unique” facility allowing the university to monitor and analyse the demand for electricity and understand the impact on the electricity grid of increasing numbers of electric vehicles.
“With the Government currently preparing their ‘Road to Zero’ strategy that will provide the roadmap of how to get to the stated objective that by 2040 all new cars purchased should be ultra-low emissions,” he said. “This facility is hugely valuable in helping us gauge what infrastructure is required by current users and potential future users of electric vehicles.”
Funding for the £4M project has come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) ), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) programme and the Department of the Environment’s Office for Low Emissions.
Layout plans for the two stations are now being finalised and planning applications will be submitted in due course.