Electric vehicle rapid charging points to be trialled at Exeter service station

Exeter has been named as the trial location to lead the way in testing rapid charging points for electric vehicles.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has teamed up with Moto motorway services, at M5 junction 30 Sandygate, Exeter, to test and trial new technology, starting in spring 2021.

The installation will be piloted over a six-month period to evaluate its performance and the benefits of rapid charging.

The project aims to make charging at motorway service stations easier for operators and customers, and make installation cheaper, WPD said.

The electricity network distribution operator said it is investing £1million into the project, designing, testing and trialling technology.

WPD said it has created a ‘one-size-fits-all-solution’ – a pre-constructed and pre-packaged design – that will allow customers to simultaneously charge their vehicles at peak time.

The design allows for space for around 40 rapid chargers at the service station.

It is hoped the project will make the installation of rapid chargers easier and more cost effective for service station operators, said WPD.

Paul Jewell, WPD spokesman, said: “If we are to encourage the take up of electric vehicles, we need to make charging in all scenarios easier and quicker.”

He added: “Exeter Services is a perfect site to trial this new technological solution.

“Ultimately it is our hope that this project will ensure that electric vehicle drivers on journeys of all lengths are never far away from a rapid charger and that service stations have the capacity required to meet expected demand.”

Ken McMeikan Moto CEO, said: “The pace that motorists are going to switch to electric vehicles is only going to increase and we aim to transform their experience through the addition of even faster chargers across our sites.”

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