Pivot Power will develop the world's first two-gigawatt network of batteries for 4500 rapid charge points for electric vehicles (EV's) across the UK in £1.6bn programme.
The company will work with National Grid to build 45 new sites, each will power around 100 charge points, around the country which will provide the infrastructure needed to facilitate the increase in EV's in the coming years. Within 18 months, 10 of these sites will be operational.
Each site will have 50-megawatt batteries and the first site located on the south coast of the UK will come into use from the second half of 2019 according to chief executive of Pivot Power Matt Allen. The exact locations have not been disclosed yet.
Graeme Cooper, National Grid's project director for EV's, 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-effective as possible.”
The sites have been selected based on the EV growth in the area which will lead to some regional concentration, but the sites will be spread across the UK. The company will try to accommodate each individual town or city's needs in terms of whether there is need for on or off-street parking.
The UK government has announced its plans to stop import of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, but currently the infrastructure needed to make the transition successful is lacking.
Allen thinks that the goal is realistic if common anxieties surrounding EV's are addressed such as range and cost. In addition, there must be enough charging infrastructure to support to number of EV's expected on the road in the future.
He said that according to a study by Carbon Tracker Initiative, electric cars will become more affordable closer to 2020 and it predicted that by 2025 one third of the cars on the roads will be electric.
Allen said: “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.”
The funding for the first round of charge points has been secured, the first 10 planned over the next 18 months, with funding for the remaining expected to be secured in the coming months.
Pivot Power is a privately owned company launched this year and has received financial backing from Downing LLP and is acquiring land next to National Grid substations to develop the grid.