Europe’s most powerful charging hub opens in Oxford

Tom Barnard

5.7.2022

Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub has been opened in Oxford, with enough capacity to charge 400 cars at once. 

The charging hub will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride, and uses entirely renewable energy. 

With 10 MW of installed capacity on site – enough to supply a city - the hub can scale up to provide charging for 400 vehicles in the future. 

Dutch charging company FastNed has initially installed 10 charging bays at the Superhub with 300 kW of power available, while Wenea has deployed 20 slower AC charging bays with 7-22 kW. A further 12 250 kW Tesla Superchargers are available. 

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  power to charge hundreds of vehicles without putting additional strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades. 

The Oxford hub also has the world’s largest battery storage system, which stores renewable energy from wind and solar. During periods when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, the battery will discharge into the local grid, helping to ensure electricity is secure and reliable throughout the day. It combines a 2MW/5MWh vanadium flow battery with a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion battery. 

The high-power 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. 

The project is a partnership between Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, alongside Oxford City Council, Fastned, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea. The Oxford hub is the first in a series of 40 Energy Superhubs planned for 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% of the energy storage that the UK is predicted to require by 2035. 

Ginny Buckley, Electrifying.com’s founder and CEO attended the official opening today and commented: “The impressive charging hub in Oxford is an excellent example of a local authority working closely with industry to lead the way when it comes to electric car charging. 

“As more and more people make the switch, we need to make sure that the right infrastructure is in place in all four corners of our nation - charging anxiety has replaced range anxiety and with this in mind, it’s vital that local authorities across the country step up so that we can bring everyone along on the journey. 

“At the same time, we need to ensure that price parity is reached between public and private charging. It’s unfair that those without a private driveway pay more to run their car. Home charging can cost as little as 2p a mile, but charging on the public network can cost many multiples of that, which is why I want to see the 20% VAT that is currently imposed on public chargers cut to 5% - without taking these steps, we risk leaving people behind and creating a two-tiered nation when it comes to electric car ownership.”

Five ultra-high power Fastned charger units offer 10 connections thanks to dual-charging tech

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