NEC and The EV Network to build one of Europe’s largest EV hubs

The NEC Group and The EV Network have been given planning approval to build one of Europe’s biggest charging hubs in the West Midlands.

The new electric vehicle charging hub will contain Alpitronic ultra-fast 300KW DC chargers capable of charging 32 EVs at any one time. Maximising the locational benefits of the NEC Campus, the hub will be accessed via a new entrance just off junction 6 of the M42 and close to the M6 and Birmingham airport.

To meet increasing demand, an existing car park will accommodate the hub’s remaining 150 bays for 7KW charging, to be used by NEC Birmingham customers during their time at the venue.

Plans for the hub also include the build of an adjacent drive-thru coffee shop operated by a national chain 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 up the opportunity for the NEC Campus to electrify  its operational vehicles to support tail-pipe emissions  reduction.

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 and bp pulse for this project.”

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 charging bays at a key part of the UK road network, is a great move forward and one we are proud to support.”

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy sets out our vision to boost on-street chargepoints 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 chargepoints 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.”

The project has been developed by The EV Network and is funded by its investment partner, Zood Infrastructure Limited (Zood), a wholly owned subsidiary of SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust plc (SEEIT). SEEIT is the first UK listed company of its kind to invest exclusively in energy efficiency projects. For this major project, The EV Network is working with bp pulse as the charge point operator for the hub. This project follows the existing  agreement between The EV Network, Zood and bp pulse signed in 2021, which aims to significantly expand the provision of convenient ultra-fast EV charging infrastructure across the country.

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