First EVs arrive for Oxford ‘superhub’ smart grid project


Oxford City Council has taken delivery of the first of 33 electric vehicles that will form part of its major smart grid project.

The ‘suberhub’ project, a £41m public-private funded scheme, involves a massive lithium-vanadium hybrid battery, an 8km private wire, some 300 connected heat pumps as well as electric vehicles and a smart charging network.

Firms partnering with the Council include EDF-owned Pivot Power (building out a transmission connected battery network); Invinity (the merged Avalon-RedT flow storage company); Kensa (heat pump manufacturer, with a fresh injection of capital from new shareholder Legal & General); Habitat Energy (flexible trading and asset optimisation); and the University of Oxford.

The 50MW lithium plus 2MW flow battery is believed to be the world’s largest hybrid of its type, with Invinity recently striking an electrolyte rental agreement with South African mining firm Bushveld to enable projects at that scale.

Some 25MW will be made available to power electric vehicles at speed, via chargers of up to 150kW.

Meanwhile, the batteries, plus connected heat pumps, will enable load shifting and flexibility trading.

The Council has now taken delivery of six EVs which form part of the trial, with another 27, including street sweepers, excavators and vans, due to arrive by the end of summer. It aims to electrify a quarter of its fleet within three years and has also started a try before you buy electric taxi scheme for Hackney Carriage operators.

The project, which will be used to inform other smart city plans, aims to save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2021, rising to 25,000 tonnes per year by 2032.  See more at

Kensa, Oxford City Council and Pivot Power will speak at The Energyst’s Delivering Net Zero event, 27-28 October, Silverstone. It’s free to attend, but you need to register at The EV Event or The Energyst Event.

Related stories:

EDF acquires Pivot Power

Legal & General buys into heat pump firm Kensa

EDF and Wärtsilä strike 100MW battery deal

Avalon founder: Flow storage can be much cheaper than lithium

Pivot Power makes huge play for 2GW battery storage and EV charging network

Habitat lands 74MW storage optimisation deal with Gresham House

Planning granted for 50MW lithium-Vanadium hybrid in Oxford

Oxford goes large on storage, EVs and heat pumps

Habitat Energy touts ‘new model’ for battery storage optimisation

EDF CEO: Networks will need massive investment to deliver net zero

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