The very first UK Kempower charging hub has opened at Costa in Wolverhampton
A UK-first electric vehicle (EV) dynamic charging hub opens today in Wolverhampton. The site is the first of over 150 charging hubs being delivered across the UK by Osprey Charging in a £75 million programme to eliminate charging anxiety ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.
Midlands leading the way in EV uptake
EV uptake in the Midlands is expected to skyrocket over the next decade, with a report from Midlands Connect projecting the number of registered EVs in the Midlands – currently at around 45,000 – to reach 1.7 million by 2030 – an increase of over 3,000%.[i] This huge growth in EV adoption will require a sixfold increase in the number of EV charging points to meet demand for charging.[ii]
Other factors – such as Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone introduced in June 2021 to tackle air pollution – are accelerating this trend, encouraging drivers in the region to move away from old polluting petrol and diesel vehicles to electric alternatives. Public EV charging infrastructure, such as Osprey’s new Wolverhampton hub, will help ensure that the transition to EVs in the region is both rapid and smooth.
Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging, said: “Whether it’s gigafactories, EV manufacturing or Clean Air Zones, The West Midlands is leading the way on low carbon transport, cementing its role at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“The opening of our high-powered charging hub in Wolverhampton – the first of 10 in construction this year – once again puts the region at the leading edge of innovation, marking a step-change in the UK’s EV infrastructure as we accelerate towards mass adoption of EVs. The site, which deploys multiple high-powered chargers, will provide a blueprint for hundreds more right across the UK, meaning no waiting times for drivers and an overall outstanding customer experience.”
The site is a major boost to regional EV charging infrastructure, hosting four high power rapid chargers that can add up to 100 miles of charge in just 10 minutes. Located adjacent to the A463, the hub will serve major transport routes in the area that see more than 130,000 vehicles pass by daily, and has a Costa Coffee on-site, allowing drivers to relax and make use of their facilities while they charge.
Martin Pitt, local EV driver, said: “I switched to an EV just over two years ago and haven’t looked back since – they are cheap to run, great to drive and importantly, cause much less harm to the environment than petrol and diesel vehicles. However, availability and ease of charging puts a lot of people off making the switch.
“Osprey’s new hub in Wolverhampton is great news for drivers in the Midlands and those en route. The sooner we have more projects like this, the better.”
UK-first technology deployed in Wolverhampton a “game-changer” for EV charging
Osprey’s Wolverhampton hub is the first site in the UK deploy a game-changing new technology – Kempower – which is enabling more locations than ever before to host multiple high-powered chargers on a single site.
Kempower chargers work together to optimise charging across multiple vehicles when more than one EV is plugged in. They allow power to be distributed based on demand, which varies significantly between individual vehicles due to the maximum charging rate of each model and its battery percentage at the point of charge.
This can reduce waiting times significantly, maximising the speed and availability of chargers for drivers, and increasing consumer footfall for the landowners hosting the hubs.
The technology also means grid connections can be optimised, allowing multiple high-power chargers to be installed per site and offering higher charging speeds without the need for more grid power. The physical footprint of each charger is also reduced by 74%, allowing space for more chargers, improving accessibility and reducing their visual impact to support planning permission.
EV Chargers at a brand new Costa Coffee
Osprey worked closely with Deeley Construction, who delivered the new Costa Coffee site at which the hub is located, and Connect It Utility Services, who ensured the high power charging installation was built and energised on time and to high quality.
Martin Gallagher, Managing Director of Deeley Construction, said: “As a company we have achieved carbon neutral status and are targeting net zero by 2036. Therefore, it is vital to us that we include sustainable features in all of our developments.
“Electric vehicles are at the heart of the drive to reduce carbon emissions and the high-power charging hub at the new Costa Coffee site will make it easier and more accessible for drivers in the region to go electric, and as a result reduce their carbon footprints.”
Osprey’s £75 million UK-wide EV charging hub rollout will see a total of 1,500 150-175KW rapid chargers installed across 150 sites nationwide over the next four years. Each hub will be located on strategic A-roads and adjacent to motorways, hosting up to 12 high powered chargers.
All Osprey chargers are compatible with every rapid charging EV on the market today and do not require a membership or subscription to initiate charging – drivers can simply tap their contactless bank card or smartphone.
[i] Midlands Connect: Surge in public charging needed to boost Midlands EV network