Electric vehicle (EV) charging operator Zest has a opened a new destination charging hub at Metrocentre in Gateshead. The installation marks the second time Zest has worked with Sovereign Centros, following the opening of its first charging hub at Merry Hill in 2022.
Zest is making a significant investment of around half a million pounds at Metrocentre, providing and installing the new facilities at the destination, and managing their long-term operation.
Abundant charge points make it easier for EV drivers when they visit, and the new chargers represent one of the largest EV charging facilities in the Northeast. The charge points are spread across three of the centre’s car parks, with the majority being 11kW chargers that top up cars in a couple of hours, specifically chosen to be in line with the average dwell time at Metrocentre. There are also rapid chargers for on-the-go visitors who need a faster getaway.
According to research conducted by CACI, 68% of consumers who intend to own an EV will visit retailers and businesses more frequently if they provide the right charging facilities. EV sales in the Northeast increased by 72% in 2022, and a third of people in the UK now intend to make an EV their next car.
The new facilities, provided and installed by Zest, create a significant opportunity for destinations like Metrocentre to enhance their visitor experience and increase footfall and spend.
“In the future we’ll just charge where we park, as part of our normal routine. Retail and leisure destinations that provide the right EV facilities first, as new habits are being formed, are those that will thrive in the migration to EV,” said Robin Heap, CEO of Zest.
“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Sovereign Centros, working with them again to provide these new facilities and to support their vision for Metrocentre’s sustainable future.”
Graeme Jones, from Sovereign Centros, with Zest CEO Robin Heap at Metrocentre.
Zest provides and operates EV charging infrastructure for commercial real estate and local authorities across the UK. Its projects are backed by the Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF). This means Zest can invest in larger projects that anticipate future demand, act quickly to deliver essential EV infrastructure and make a tangible contribution to net zero.
Graeme Jones, Director at Sovereign Centros, commented: “We are committed to pushing for a more sustainable future across all our destinations, and ensuring accessibility to EV charging is a key part of this.
“Having worked with Zest on other projects, we saw them as the perfect partner to deliver this for Metrocentre, ultimately helping to deliver our sustainable vision, and removing one of the main barriers to the EV switch for drivers across the Northeast.”