THE electric vehicle (EV) revolution is picking up the pace after UK company Pivot Power unveiled plans to invest £25 million in a massive 50 megawatt battery which will power a charging “superhub” near Carlisle, as part of a £1.6billion investment to create a UK network of EV charging stations.
The site, on the M6, is the second of 45 throughout the UK to win planning permission after a similar scheme in Southampton got the go-ahead in July.
Pivot Power is portraying the project as a means of putting Carlisle and the surrounding area, which includes the spectacular Lake District, at the forefront of the smart energy revolution, as well as supporting efforts to clean up the region’s air.
Carlisle City Council has granted permission to install the huge battery at Harker electricity sub-station, with Pivot Power planning to have it up and running within a year.
When operational, it will be one of the UK’s biggest grid-scale batteries, storing enough electricity to supply almost 6,000 average homes for a day from a single charge.
he site at Harker is close to Junction 44 of the M6, and Pivot Power plans to submit a separate planning application for an EV charging superhub at another location in the area.
Details are still being finalised, but it could offer rapid charging at competitive rates for up to 100 cars at the same time and will be capable of supporting the fastest chargers.
It will also be able to support mass charging infrastructure for commercial fleets such as electric buses, taxis and vans.
Mikey Clarke, CTO of Pivot Power, said: “As this week marks Green Great Britain Week we could not be more thrilled to announce plans for the site at Harker on the doorstep of the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage site.
“The plan will contribute to cleaning our nation’s air and driving forward a cleaner greener economy – a need brought into sharp focus by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark climate scenario report last week.
“Working with the local authorities, our plans will see Carlisle become a pioneering city for low carbon vehicle adoption, ensuring that the rural areas it serves are not left lagging in the EV revolution.”
Pivot Power will build the battery on a plot on National Grid land, next to the existing electricity substation.
It will be housed in 25 containers, surrounded and concealed by a security fence. Construction is expected to start around July 2019 and is expected to take three months.
Carlisle will be the second site to be developed in a £1.6 billion programme which will set up a national network of batteries and EV charging superhubs fed directly by National Grid sub-stations.
Pivot Power aims to have operational 50MW batteries at 10 sites within 18 months and 45 within five years.
The Government is also investing heavily in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including £30million research and development investment in smart charging points.
A report published by National Grid in July suggested there will by 11 million on Britain’s roads by 2030, with this figure more than tripling to 36 million ten years later.
Commenting on the research, Pivot Power CEO Matt Allen said: “National Grid’s forecast shows that consumer demand will rapidly make petrol and diesel emissions obsolete.
“We are on a road to zero emissions transport.
“We now need local leaders to support public demand and government ambition and create their own regional road to zero plans.
“Electrifying buses, taxis and light transport fleets are all easy wins.”