Revolutionizing the UK’s Rapid EV Charging Infrastructure
In 2020, the UK declared its intention to become one of the fastest nations in the world to decarbonize its road transport sector. With the sales of battery-powered EVs soaring in the country, the next step for a smooth transition to e-mobility is creating fair and scalable charging networks for UK EV drivers.
Partnering with one of the UK’s largest public charging networks
Last year, Osprey Charging, one of the UK’s largest and fastest-growing public rapid EV charging networks, announced its ambition to make EV charging anxiety a thing of the past. To accomplish this, it plans to install over 150 high-powered EV charging hubs across the UK by 2025, some of which will feature Kempower technology.
A total of 1,500 150-175KW rapid chargers will be installed on strategic A-roads and adjacent to motorways as part of a £75 million nationwide rollout. Osprey Charging selected the Kempower Satellite charger with a Kempower Power Unit for the hubs. Additionally, Kempower Chargeye software is included in the backend to optimize the user experience for drivers, marking the first time this game-changing charger optimization technology will be deployed publicly in the UK.
Curing charging anxiety with multiple high-powered chargers on a single site
Kempower chargers work dynamically to optimize charging across multiple vehicles at the same charging hub. They allow power to be distributed based on demand, which varies significantly between vehicles due to the maximum charging rate of each model and its battery percentage at the point of charge.
This power management can significantly reduce waiting times for charging, maximizing the speed and availability of chargers for drivers and increasing consumer footfall for the landowners hosting the hubs. The load-balancing technology also means grid connections can be optimized, allowing several high-power chargers to be installed per site and offering higher charging speeds without requiring more grid power.
Kempower’s fast charging technology allows EV drivers to get the most out of their charging sessions while reducing queuing times.
Increasing accessibility for all EV drivers
Providing access to e-mobility for even more drivers in the UK is crucial to Osprey Charging. That’s why the company has made accessibility a vital element in the rollout of its rapid charging hubs featuring Kempower technology.
One of the first hubs to open as part of the project is located at the Paisley Pear Pub and Restaurant in the UK town of Brackley. The hub is the UK’s first accessibly designed rapid charging hub, comprising eight 150kW Kempower Satellite charging systems. The Kempower chargers are strategically positioned in a user-friendly layout with more space for access to support drivers of all physical abilities. Furthermore, the charging cables are spring-loaded and situated on a gantry, which carries most of the weight and makes it easy to bring the cable to a vehicle.
The physical footprint of each Kempower Charging Satellite is also 74% smaller than the industry average. A smaller footprint further improves accessibility for movement around the chargers and allows space for more chargers.
As a result of Osprey Charging’s emphasis on accessibility, the Paisley Pear location received an accessibility score of 4.6 out of 5 from the independent, public EV charging endorsement body ChargeSafe. This impressive score is the highest accessibility score recorded by ChargeSafe on the UK network.
The status of the rollout
Osprey Charging expects five charging hubs to be operational by the end of 2022. These are located:
- On the M40 in Banbury
- On the A43 in Brackley
- On the A127 in Essex
- On the A14 in Suffolk
- On the A1423 in Wolverhampton
The rollout has faced a few hurdles that Osprey Charging and the Kempower UK team are overcoming together. A significant challenge relates to energizing the hubs, including getting enough power to the sites and dealing with grid constraints. Further considerations include handling leases for existing substations, specifically the owner and legalities associated with providing the power, and who owns excess energy at new substations.
To help overcome these challenges, Kempower’s UK team and Osprey Charging are developing strong relationships with the relevant distribution network operators (DNOs). The two companies are also engaging with independent DNOs, alternative network operators that adopt and maintain the new assets and can do most of the work relating to making a hub operational when appropriate.
Positive customer feedback and a blossoming partnership
So far, the Osprey Charging hubs have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from EV drivers. The main question that Kempower and Osprey Charging are asked is why there aren’t more hubs open yet, which is a sentiment shared by both parties.
The project’s ongoing success can be traced back to the excellent relationship Kempower built with Osprey Charging. The two teams are in constant communication, collaboratively tackling any challenges and pushing forward progress in the same direction.
Kempower designs and manufactures DC fast charging solutions for electric vehicles and machines. We’re a team of electric vehicle enthusiasts with a deep understanding of the charging market and a hands-on mentality. Our product development and production are rooted in Finland, with over 90% of our materials and components sourced locally. We focus on all areas of transportation, from personal cars and commercial vehicles to mining equipment, boats and motorsports. With 70 years of experience in perfecting power sources, we set the bar in engineering and user-experience design.
About Osprey Charging Network
Osprey Charging Network is a UK-wide, rapid electric vehicle charging network. Osprey fund, install and manage their network on behalf of landlord partners. The Osprey network is built to be reliable and easy to use. All Osprey chargers accept contactless payments, App payments, RFID payments and payment through all major third-party payment methods including fleet cards. Every charging point is also powered by 100% renewable electricity. In 2019, Osprey installed London’s first rapid charging hub in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), at Stratford International Station car park.