The UK’s first privately-owned direct current charging station for electric vehicles has been opened by Transport Minister, Norman Baker. ABB, the power and automation technology group installed the charger at the offices of printing company RCS PLC in Retford, Nottinghamshire. RCS aims to become the greenest producer in its industry, and bought the charger with financial support from the Midlands Plugged-in Places project, part of wider government sites to develop charging infrastructures across the UK. The station will be used to charge the company’s fleet of sales and delivery vehicles, but will also become part of the Plugged-in Midlands public charging network.
Senior vice president and general manager of ABB’s Product Group EV Charging Infrastructure, Hans Streng, said: “The adoption of electric mobility is a reality. All major car brands have either already introduced their electric car models or are planning a launch within the next 1 to 2 years. “In the meantime, the rollout of charging infrastructure is accelerating across Europe. “Fleet owners, utilities, service operators and car-OEMs are convinced of the need for DC rapid charging. “The possibility to quickly recharge will help potential buyers overcome the hurdle of range anxiety. “That’s why the UK needs DC charging, in addition to the existing AC infrastructure, to further drive electric mobility.” Rapid charging aims to reduce charging times from 8 hours, to between 15-20 minutes, in a bid to alleviate concerns about the limited range of electric vehicles. The rollout of a nationwide recharging infrastructure will play a vital part in incentivising potential buyers of electric cars. Norman Baker commented: “We know there is public appetite out there for plug-in vehicles and we’re doing everything possible to make them a real option for both motorists and industry.
“The installation of this charging station will not only make it easier and faster for electric-vehicle owners to recharge away from home, but demonstrates how our Plugged-in Places programme is helping to stimulate private investment in vital infrastructure “There is no doubt that low-carbon vehicles are here to stay, and we will continue to work with industry to create a world-leading charging network that really reflects the need of its users.” Plugged-in Midlands is managed by Cenex in conjunction with Central Technology Belt, and is supported by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles. Robert Evans, Cenex CEO, said: “DC charging provides an exciting, fast complement to the AC charging infrastructure and through working with ABB we’ve enabled RCS to create a UK first, to help encourage electric-vehicle adoption. “We believe that this successful implementation will spur other organisations, in both the public and private sector, to become part of the growing electric infrastructure that is powering change in the Midlands.”