The United Kingdom has gone electric car charging wild. There are already multiple networks set up around this island nation, and now another one looks to be coming online via a consortium led by Nissan. The project is known as the Rapid Charge Network (RCN).
This network, according to Nissan, will consist of a total of 74 fast charging stations once complete. They will cover more than 1,100 kms of major routes. Running on two priority road axes on the mainland, the network will link major ports and cities including Stranraer, Liverpool, Holyhead, Birmingham, Felixstowe, Leeds and Kingston upon Hull with connections to existing networks in Dublin and Belfast in Eire and Northern Ireland.
One aspect of this new network which is drawing key interest from stakeholders is the fact it will make use of the first multi-standard units in public operation in Europe. This reportedly will ensure that “every EV owner in the country can undertake long journeys secure in the knowledge that they will never be far from a rapid charger no matter what brand of car they drive. The units are compatible with cars using 44kW DC CCS, 44 kW DC Chademo or 43 kW AC systems.”
As electric car drivers make use of the RCN, it will be used to gather information such as customer charging behavior and changes in mobility patterns, to help plan the roll-out future rapid charging infrastructure in member states across Europe.
Plans currently call for all of the chargers to be in place by the end of next year. Funding is being led by Nissan, along with co-financing happening from the European Union. Other partners include Renault, BMW, Volkswagen, ESB Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board, Zero Carbon Futures and Newcastle University.