National Highways has invested £8m in new high-powered charging infrastructure that will support ultra-rapid chargers on England’s motorways where the grid supply is not sufficient.
Under the contract, renewable energy developer Ameresco will deploy the Energy Storage Systems – giant battery packs – at seven motorway service areas.
These sites include Beaconsfield on the M40; Corley on the M6 Northbound; Clacket Lane on the M25, both Eastbound and Westbound; Maidstone on the M20; Taunton on the M5 Northbound; and Tebay on the M6 Northbound.
Ameresco will work closely with the motorway service area operators – Extra, Roadchef, Welcome Break and Westmorland – on applications to local authorities for planning permission.
It will also work with distribution network operators to secure permission to connect the Energy Storage System to the grid.
Each system will have a typical storage capacity of 2MWh and the batteries will charge overnight when spare electric is available.
They will have enough energy to enable EV charging for over two million miles every year, and the installations are expected to complete by the end of September 2023.
The project will support the Government’s aim for all motorway service areas to have at least six high-powered, open access charge points by the end of 2023.
Malcolm Wilkinson, head of energy for National Highways, said, “These new Energy Storage Systems and the high-powered chargers they supply will help ensure that motorists are unlikely to be caught without somewhere to charge, which is a fantastic move for drivers and the environment accelerating the speed in which we transition to new electric vehicles.”
Mark Apsey, managing director at Ameresco, said: “These systems will facilitate the uptake of EVs by creating the infrastructure needed for people to switch with confidence.”