Pivot Power to launch UK-wide charge point scheme for electric vehicles in £1.6bn programme

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The project will make the infrastructure needed to have an EV accessible to many areas in the UK (Source: Getty)

A UK-based energy company has unveiled plans to develop 4,500 rapid charge points for electric vehicles across the country in a £1.6bn programme.

Pivot Power will work with National Grid to build 45 new sites, each with around 100 charge points, boasting the world's first two-gigawatt network of batteries.

Within 18 months, 10 of these sites will be operational, the firm said.

Each site will have 50-megawatt batteries and the first site located on the south coast of the UK will come into use from the second half of 2019 according to chief executive of Pivot Power Matt Allen. The exact locations have not yet been disclosed.

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Graeme Cooper, National Grid's project director for electric vehicles (known as EVs) said: “We expect the use of electric vehicles to grow rapidly. This innovative solution will help accelerate adoption by providing a network of rapid charging stations across the country enabling cars to charge quickly, efficiently and as cost-effective as possible.”

The sites have been selected based on the EV growth in the area.

The UK government has announced plans to stop the importation of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, but currently the infrastructure needed to make the transition to EVs is lacking.

Allen thinks that the goal is realistic if common anxieties surrounding EVs are addressed such as range and cost. In addition, there must be enough charging infrastructure to support to number of EVs expected on the road in the future.

He said that according to a study by Carbon Tracker Initiative, electric cars will become more affordable closer to 2020. The study predicted that by 2025 one third of the cars on the roads will be electric.

Allen said: “We want to future-proof the UK's energy system and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, helping the UK to clean up its air and meet climate targets. Big problems require big solutions, and we are moving fast to put in place a unique network to support a clean, affordable, secure energy system and embrace the low-carbon economy.”

The funding for the first round of charge points has been secured, with funding for the remaining expected to be secured in the coming months.

Pivot Power is a privately owned company launched this year and has received financial backing from Downing LLP. It is acquiring land next to National Grid substations to develop the grid.

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