Major electric vehicle charging hub planned for NEC Birmingham
A major electric vehicle charging hub on the NEC Campus in the West Midlands has been given planning approval. Once completed, it will be one of the largest EV charging hubs in Europe in terms of number of charge points on one site.
The NEC Group will be working with the EV Network to create the hub, which will contain ultra-fast 300KW DC chargers capable of charging 32 EVs at any one time. Served by 16 high speed DC chargers, each will be able to fully-charge a vehicle in 15-30 minutes, plus a solar canopy will help to generate electricity for the hub. Maximising on the locational benefits of the Campus, the hub will also be accessed via a new entrance from the main Campus through road, just off junction 6 of the M42 and close to the M6.
To meet increasing demand, an existing car park will accommodate the hub’s remaining 150 points for 7KW AC-charging. These will be used by NEC Birmingham customers during their time at the venue, which welcomes over seven million visitors per year.
Plans for the hub also include the build of an adjacent, drive-thru national coffee franchise to cater for visitors whilst they wait for their vehicles to charge. This will provide indoor seating and an additional 26 standard parking bays for other patrons.
Set to go live from Autumn 2022, the hub is embedded not only into the NEC Group’s long-term sustainability strategy, but also contributes to the UK Government’s electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, launched in March 2022. The EV charging hub also opens the opportunity for the NEC Campus to electrify its operational vehicles to support carbon reduction.
Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, said: “With our size and scale, Blackstone has a unique opportunity to make real progress in advancing a lower-carbon economy and driving sustainability initiatives for growth across our portfolio companies. Closing the EV charging gap requires a concerted, collaborative effort and we are proud to support the NEC in delivering the crucial infrastructure as demand reaches a tipping point.”
Paul Thandi CBE, CEO of NEC Group, said: “As the UK’s leading live events business, we also want to be a leader in sustainable practices. Creating an EV charging hub of this scale is a step change for the UK’s green travel strategy. We know that many electric vehicle drivers suffer from range anxiety and that this is a barrier to others switching to greener modes of transport. Providing greater reliability and access to high quality charge points in partnership with bp pulse at a key part of the UK road network, is a great move forward and one we are proud to support.”
Trudy Harrison, Transport Minister, said: "Our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy sets out our vision to boost on-street charge points across the nation, and it's excellent to see NEC Birmingham joining the important transition to greener vehicles.
"We've supported the installation of over 30,000 public EV charge points up and down the UK, and it's great that the UK's largest events organisation is also accommodating for present and future EV drivers.”
Reza Shaybani, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of The EV Network, said: “This is an exciting project with national importance which will significantly impact the EV charging landscape. The location and size of the charging hub within the UK’s transport infrastructure provides reassurance for drivers travelling between cities.
“The NEC Birmingham is the largest exhibition space in the country and welcomes several million visitors a year to its venues at the Campus. By introducing this provision, we believe this is an investment not only for visitors to the site, but also into the wider EV charging infrastructure for the UK. We are pleased to have partnered with the NEC Group for this project.”