SSE Energy Solutions has kicked off plans to establish a major electric vehicle (EV) charging network across the UK by announcing a new partnership with global commercial real estate investor, asset manager and business builder Oxford Properties, and its European portfolio company M7 Real Estate.
As part of SSE’s overall EV network strategy, this new deal aims to deliver new EV sites – with up to 12 bays each – at 20 of Oxford Properties’ retail warehousing parks across the UK within 24 months.
The sites should have the ability to recharge an estimated 2 million vehicles annually, while the parks will be asset managed and operated by M7 on behalf of Oxford Properties. Most bays will have ultra-rapid charging capabilities of up to 150 kW. These allow drivers to resume their journey within 20 to 40 minutes of plugging in.
With SSE’s first charging hub having launched recently in Castlebank, Glasgow, SSE plans to build 300 EV charging bays powered by traceable, renewable energy by 2027. This will help meet increasing demand for a UK EV infrastructure upgrade following the UK Government’s commitment to ending the production of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.
A recent report from the Climate Change Committee shows the rise of electric cars is outpacing Government growth projections, and that infrastructure deployment needs to accelerate to meet the target of 300,000 public charging points by 2030.
“It is vital that we face the EV infrastructure challenge head on if we are to meet our ambitious decarbonisation targets,” said Kevin Welstead, EV sector director at SSE Energy Solutions.
“We must ensure that drivers are able to access EV charging points easily and conveniently. Retail locations provide a perfect solution; people can simply plug in their vehicle while they shop and return to a fully charged car thanks to our ultra-rapid facilities.
SSE plans to build 300 EV charging points by 2027.
“M7 and Oxford share our social values and determination to beat climate change. Their forward-thinking partnership with us is exactly the kind of collaborative approach we need landowners across the UK to consider,” Welstead continued.
“M7 understands that the time to act is now, and we look forward to continuing our work with them. I am extremely proud of my team for all their effort in getting this groundbreaking deal over the line.”
SSE Energy Solutions is also in talks with M7 to further expand the project, with the ambition to open a potential 70 sites around the country in total by 2025.
“With customers placing increasing importance on ensuring that the businesses and services they use share their sustainability goals, we understand it is critical that our retail parks are as green as possible,” added Josh Tyler, Asset Manager at M7.
“It is important to us and our occupiers that we are able to provide the customer with the best possible EV charging experience, working with SSE was an easy decision for us due to their commitment to renewables and proven track record on decarbonisation strategy.”