SSE Energy Solutions to invest €35m in ultra-rapid charging hubs

SSE Energy Solutions has announced plans to invest €35m develop a nationwide EV charging network across Ireland.

A new partnership with SSE Airtricity will see at least 30 ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging hubs installed across Ireland over the next four years, all of which will be powered by 100% green electricity.

The initiative will be formally launched at the Electric Vehicle Summit 2022 at the RDS in Dublin later today, where SSE Airtricity is a headline sponsor. As part of the EV infrastructure rollout, it has been confirmed that the first hub will open at the Lough Sheever Corporate Park in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath next year. The site will be publicly accessible and designed to accommodate long-wheelbase vehicles and buses, as well as cars and fleet vehicles.

As part of Phase One of the project in 2023, and subject to planning permission, additional hubs with 10 charging bays will be installed in Blanchardstown Business Park and Greenogue Industrial Estate in Dublin.

It is expected that a total of six sites will be operational by the end of 2023, with a further 10 coming online in 2024. Each ultra-rapid bay will have charging capabilities of up to 150 kilowatts (kW), sufficient to deliver 12.5 kms of range per minute of charging.

A 2021 study by the UK’s Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology found that Ireland ranked joint-last in terms of implementing charging infrastructure. The Government’s 2021 Climate Action Plan has set a target of one million EVs on the roads by 2030, including private cars, heavy goods vehicles, small public service vehicles, and larger public transport vehicles.

Figures released last month by the UK’s Department for Transport revealed that Northern Ireland has the lowest level of charging device provision in the UK (18 devices per 100,000).

Launching the initiative, Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director for SSE Energy Solutions said: “At SSE, we have extensive experience in the development and rollout of EV charging infrastructure. From our network in the UK, we understand that when it comes to charging, people just want to get in, get on and get gone. EV drivers don’t want to stress of wondering if the machine is working , or having to wait for three or four cars ahead of them.

“We’re delighted to launch the SSE Airtricity EV charging hubs, and we’re really excited about the network we are going to develop over the next four years. In building out this infrastructure, we want to ensure peace of mind for all EV drivers – domestic, car fleet, commercial – that when they show up at one of our facilities, they can will plug in to a working, high power charger as soon as they arrive, and that they  be back on the move on in the shortest amount of time possible.”

Speaking following the announcement, Klair Neenan, Managing Director SSE Airtricity said: “SSE Airtricity has a long standing commitment of delivering green energy and green energy solutions to our customers, and we’re delighted to take that a step further with the announcement of the SSE Airtricity EV charging hubs in partnership with SSE Energy Solutions.

With COP27 underway in Egypt, today’s announcement is fitting as we renew our commitment to supporting Ireland’s climate change targets and support the Government’s Climate Action Plan and EV transport targets.”

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