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Downing behind plans for world’s largest electric vehicle charging vehicle network

  • By Neil Martin
  • News


Investment manager Downing is providing the key investment for the initial stage of a world-first 2GW network of grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK.

The batteries will deliver the infrastructure for rapid EV charging technology, while also being capable of storing enough power to supply 235,000 average homes for a day. Downing said that this storage capability creates a key resource for the National Grid, allowing it to better manage increasing supply and demand issues.

Downing aims to provide funding for the first battery project, which will be built on the south coast of England and operational by the middle of 2019. Downing also plans to raise institutional funding to progress the network rollout.

Pivot Power plans to have operational batteries at ten sites from 18 months’ time, subject to planning approval. In total, the project intends to build a nationwide network across 45 sites, which will make it the world’s biggest battery network connected to the National Grid as well as the world’s largest network of rapid charging sites.

Development for up to 45 sites is being planned near towns and major roads. Each station will aim to support up to 100 rapid chargers offering mass charging at competitive rates.

The unprecedented programme is expected to cost £1.6bn in total over a period of up to five years and Pivot Power is also in talks with institutional and strategic investors alongside potential partners, such as car manufacturers, charging providers, and technology and energy companies.

Colin Corbally, Partner at Downing, said: “To increase the reliance on renewable energy, the National Grid will need access to more flexible energy assets. There is also the requirement for sufficient power infrastructure to support EV charging stations when the expected growth of EV use is to become a reality. Pivot Power has developed this unique opportunity to build this energy network and make this happen.”

Matt Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Pivot Power, added: “Our batteries will provide the infrastructure to underpin clean air policies while introducing valuable flexibility into the energy system.

“It will also address the three biggest barriers to EV adoption identified by the Department for Transport: availability of chargers, ‘range anxiety’ (the distance it’s possible to travel between charges), and also cost, as our stations will be able to buy power at a lower price.”

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