UK's largest public EV charging hub at NEC Birmingham opens
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, has officially opened the UK’s largest public electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at the NEC Campus in the West Midlands.
The Gigahub™ from bp pulse and The EV Network (EVN) will help serve the seven million visitors attracted to the NEC Campus annually, along with a wide range of other road users that make up the area’s average yearly traffic count of 60 million. Accessed via the main NEC Campus through road, less than 1 mile from junction 6 on the M42 and just 2.4 miles from junction 7A for the M6.
Capable of charging 180 EV’s simultaneously, the Gigahub™ boasts cutting-edge ultra-fast 16x 300KW DC chargers, of which two are designated accessible bays. These ultra-fast chargers are capable of charging 30 EVs simultaneously. The site also has a further 150 points for 7KW charging including additional designated accessible bays.
The range of charging speeds offered by the Gigahub™, from 300kW for ultra-fast DC charging to 7kW AC charging for longer stays, addresses the diverse needs of different types of EV drivers.
All visitors to the Gigahub™ will have access to a new Starbucks Coffee drive-thru, combining fast charging with convenience to deliver the services EV drivers want while they wait.
The EV Network (EVN) as investor for this multimillion-pound project, designed, developed, and constructed the EV charging Gigahub™ after signing a long-term contract with the NEC Group to bring EV charging infrastructure to the entire campus and working with bp pulse on several projects launched throughout 2023.
bp pulse worked closely with EV Network to ensure the Gigahub™ provides the best possible experience for its customers. As one of the largest charge point operators in the UK, it will use its expertise to operate the new hub. bp pulse is delivering the right charging speeds, in the right locations and focussing on ultra-fast and rapid charge points to provide a comprehensive EV charging network across the country and it plans to roll out hundreds of hubs by 2030 in urban areas, on trunk roads and motorways and at destinations such as restaurants, retail parks and hotels.
The NEC Group’s strategic involvement provides the essential foundation for the project – the land. The locational benefits of its real estate at the heart of the national motorway network, make it the ideal space to accommodate the UK’s largest EV charging hub.
The RT Hon Jeremy Hunt MP stated, “This is the biggest private investment in electric charging in the UK and is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s role as a leader in green industries.
“The ground-breaking site will be a major transport hub for the future and marks a significant step in our rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country”.
Paul Thandi CBE, DL Chairman of NEC Group, said: “We are proud to contribute to the UK Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. Working in collaboration with EVN and bp pulse, the opening of our EV charging hub provides NEC Campus customers, commuters, and those working for local regional or national businesses, a reliable and convenient way to recharge and support a lower carbon travel future.
“This strategic collaboration and initiative strengthen our destination offer, demonstrate our commitment to reducing the impact our business practices and our Masterplan credentials have on the environment, and ultimately supports a reduction in carbon emissions.”
Akira Kirton, vice president of bp pulse UK, said: “The transition to electric vehicles is evolving at pace which is why bp pulse is focussed on accelerating the development of the UK’s EV infrastructure, delivering the right charging speeds, in the right locations and investing up to £1 billion to do so.
“This new, nationally significant bp pulse Gigahub™ at the heart of the UK’s road network, is another great example of our strategy in action.
“We plan to roll out hundreds of hubs this decade in places EV drivers needs them - urban areas, on trunk roads and motorways and at destinations such as restaurants, retail parks and hotels.”
Reza Shaybani, CEO, and co-founder of the EV Network, said: “The launch of the UK’s largest Gigahub™ is a massive game changer for EVN and a huge step forward for UK electric vehicle fast charging. The EVN team responding to the public demand for more - charging and we are responding with hundreds of millions of pounds of new investment and the very latest technology.
“EVN has already built dozens of sites across the UK, but the successful completion of this new project launches us onto a much more ambitious growth path, as the leading business in our sector with a range of exciting new partners."
“The NEC was a perfect location that is not only geographically key, but of national significance, to support the EV charging landscape. EVN secured 6.5MVA grid connection, to support the entire infrastructure. The strategic placement and impressive scale of this charging hub within the UK’s transport infrastructure offers reassuring support to drivers journeying between cities.
“Our long-term relationship with both the NEC Group and bp pulse ensures this is not just an investment for the site’s visitors but a transformative step towards bolstering the entire EV charging infrastructure of the UK.
“At EVN we are excited to invest £100M in EV Infrastructure projects this year, and we aim to invest a further £300M equity by 2025.”
Alexander Walsh, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “The opening of the UK’s largest EV charging hub at the NEC is a significant step forward as more drivers across the UK move to electric vehicles, with sites like this playing an important role in supporting the UK’s energy transition.
“Blackstone has been invested in the NEC since 2018, and this development demonstrates the positive impact private investment can have in driving innovation and creating green jobs, and we’re proud to be backing the industries of the future in the West Midlands and beyond that are helping build a more sustainable future.”