Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub opens in Oxford
Oxford City Council has officially opened Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub.
Energy Superhub Oxford’s charging hub will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride. The charging hub will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
With 10 MW of installed capacity on site, the hub can scale up as more people use electric vehicles and will be able to provide charging for 400 vehicles helping to support the estimated 36 million EVs expected on UK roads by 2040.
The project is part of a nationwide network of Energy Superhubs developed by Pivot Power, which combine transmission-connected batteries and power infrastructure for EV charging to enable more renewables and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.
Fastned, the European EV rapid charging company, has initially installed ten charging bays at the Superhub with 300 kW of power available, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes. Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, has deployed twenty 7-22 kW charging bays. A further twelve 250 kW Tesla Superchargers will be available for Tesla owners.
Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site is directly connected to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network via a four-mile underground cable, which will deliver 10 MW of power without putting additional strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades.
Pivot Power’s innovative network can be expanded to key locations throughout Oxford to decarbonise public and private transport, taxis and commercial fleets, supporting Oxford’s net zero 2040 target, as well as providing infrastructure for the pilot Zero Emission Zone – a first-of-its-kind scheme that applies fees to any non-electric vehicle entering the central zone. A substation has already been installed at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot, ready to support the company’s plans to introduce over 100 electric buses in the coming two years.
As part of the project, Energy Superhub Oxford has also supported the decarbonisation of Oxford City Council’s fleet of maintenance vehicles. In total, Energy Superhub Oxford has contributed almost £900,000 towards the procurement of 40 EVs, including cars, vans, road sweepers, tipper trucks and the city’s first all-electric bin lorry.
The £41 million urban decarbonisation project delivered by Pivot Power, together with a consortium of global partners and part-funded by the UK government, will unlock significant emissions reductions across power, heat and transport as part of the programme to decarbonise Oxford by 2040 – saving 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032.
Energy Superhub Oxford has also activated its hybrid battery system, developed by Pivot Power which will underpin local and national clean power systems.
The battery system, which stores renewable energy at times of high supply, will provide essential flexibility to the UK’s grid as renewable energy is scaled up. During periods when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, the battery will discharge, helping to ensure electricity is secure and reliable throughout the day. This will be essential if the UK is to reach its goals of 50GW of offshore wind and 70GW of solar capacity by the 2030s, as well as fully decarbonising electricity by 2035.
It combines a 2MW/5MWh vanadium flow battery from energy storage leader Invinity Energy Systems with a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion battery from global technology company Wärtsilä to deliver an innovative energy storage solution that can balance the intermittency of renewable energy. The system will be controlled and managed by Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform and optimised by Habitat Energy’s AI-enabled battery trading system.
Pivot Power plans to deploy up to 40 Energy Superhubs across the UK, with the next two projects already underway in Coventry and Sandwell, to the northwest of Birmingham. Once complete, the network could provide almost 10 per cent of the energy storage that the UK is predicted to require by 2035.
Energy Superhub Oxford has also supported the installation of more than 60 ground source heat pumps for social housing properties in Oxford, helping to alleviate the reliance on fossil fuel-based heating that has pushed energy prices to record levels.
Matt Allen, CEO and Co-Founder of Pivot Power, said: “Urban decarbonisation is ground zero for the immediate emissions reductions needed to tackle the climate crisis. Energy Superhub Oxford provides a vision of the future, today. By delivering a world-leading project that cuts emissions across transport, power and heat, we are breaking new ground to help the UK reach net zero sooner.”