Wales has its first dedicated electric car charging hub: M4 services near Swansea gets devices that can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes
- Gridserve has added an Electric Highway hub in Wales – a first for the country
- It is at the M4 services near Swansea, located at junction 47
- Wales has one of the lowest numbers of chargepoints per population in the UK
- While London has 102 per 100k people, Wales has just 33 per 100k residents
Wales’ first high-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging hub has been officially opened at Moto services on the M4 near Swansea in a major step to boosting the country’s charging infrastructure ahead of 2030.
The hub of six high-power chargers are part of the Gridserve Electric Highway – a network of publicly accessible rapid charging points at motorway service stations and dedicated EV forecourts across the UK.
The charging points are powered entirely by the company’s solar farm, accept contactless payments and have the ability to deliver 100-miles of range in less than 10 minutes.
Wales’ first high-powered electric vehicle charging hub has been officially opened at Moto services on the M4 near Swansea
Located at junction 47 on the M4, the hub is is part of the Welsh Government’s infrastructure strategy, which includes a commitment to install 4,000 rapid chargers across the country over the next decade – of which just 3 per cent are already installed.
Lack of public charging infrastructure has become a significant barrier to EV adoption and has historically led to regional disparities in EV registrations.
It is why the motor industry yesterday called for an independent charging network regulator to be put in place to ensure the UK has enough devices and spread evenly across the country.
Currently, Wales has one of the lowest numbers of EV charge points per head of population in the UK, with 33 per 100,000 people. That compares to London, which has 102 per 100,000.
Southwest Wales – where the new Gridserve site is located – has just half the average proportion of EVs when compared to the rest of the UK, which is believed to be the result of a lack of public charging provisions.
Department for Transport data for last year shows that London has 102 public charging devices per 100,000 residents, while Wales has just 33 per 100,000 people
Southwest Wales – where the Gridserve site is located – has half the average proportion of EVs when compared to the rest of the UK, which has been linked to a lack of charging provisions
The charging operator says it is actively looking at further sites in Wales for the development of future hubs and potentially an Electric Forecourt, like the Braintree site opened in 2020.
Toddington Harper, chief executive of Gridserve, said: ‘This is a landmark project for Gridserve and Moto and the first high-power charging facility of its kind for Wales. We’re really excited to be demonstrating that all parts of the UK should be able to embrace the EV revolution.
‘We cannot let a lack of infrastructure prevent drivers from realising the myriad of benefits that come with driving an electric vehicle.
‘This project will help deliver the confidence for more people to make the switch to EVs, as well as support the growing number of people who already have.’
While there are currently just six charging devices, there are provisions for another six to be added once there is enough demand for it.
Mike Hedges, Member of the Senedd for Swansea East said: ‘By 2025, Swansea is predicted to have one of the highest demands for EV charging in Wales as the uptake of electric vehicles continues to accelerate.
‘Ensuring that we have the infrastructure in place now is fundamental to enabling more drivers to make this transition sooner.’
Gridserve plans to launch more than 20 electric hubs at motorway services before June 2022.
It is also set to complete a new site in Norwich early this year followed by the world’s first airport charging hub for electric vehicles at Gatwick in the autumn as part of its wider rollout of 100 electric forecourts across the UK.
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