EAN Plugs-in Expertise to Drive National EV Standards

EAN Plugs-in Expertise to Drive National EV Standards

As published in Electrical Times (August 2021 issue).

Energy Assets Networks (EAN), one of Britain’s fastest growing owners and operators of final mile electricity networks, is playing a key role in accelerating the national roll-out of the country’s EV charging infrastructure.

The company, which is an Independent Distribution Network Operator, has developed national standards covering equipment, connections and network design to help businesses such as forecourt operator MFG and charge point provider InstaVolt optimise their installation programmes.

EAN is supporting the build-out of EV charging capacity through the design and adoption of networks that connect EV charge points to the electricity grid. This ensures that appropriate cabling and substations are specified to manage the anticipated loads, in step with regulatory and industry standards.

Through this partnership approach with operators, EAN provides a package of support that is helping to drive the national roll-out of EV charging bays, offering competitive asset values, a simplified quotation process, in-house legal expertise and common network design standards.

The only variable is the connection via the Distribution Network Operator, but by adopting this package of support for all their EV sites, operators can accelerate their national roll-out plans. This will mean faster infrastructure build-out, which will be vital in enabling the UK to meet its Net Zero plans.

“This approach is good news for operators such as MFG and InstaVolt because it means they can get charge points into the ground more quickly and start to offer the service to their customers,” said Jayson Whitaker, Managing Director of EAN. “Rapid acceleration of these resources is vital in encouraging a shift to EV technologies.”

The partnership with MFG, the market leading independent forecourt operator, supports the company’s planned £400 million investment that will see 3,000 ultra-rapid 150kW and 350kW EV charge points installed at 500 sites across the UK by 2030. The programme underpins MFG’s dual fuel strategy to enable a transition from fossil fuels to electric vehicles to help decarbonise the economy. EAN anticipates partnering with MFG on up to 30 sites during 2021.

Ed Chadwick, Director, EV & Strategic Projects at MFG commented: “We are at the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey for MFG – and for the country – and EAN will play an important commercial and technical role as we kick-start the massive upscaling of our EV charging network.”

Currently, ultra-rapid 150kW chargers can provide around 100 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes but as car battery technology develops, MFG will be increasing charging speeds to 350kW. This will result in recharging times comparable to petrol and diesel refuelling.

MFG’s initial focus for its EV charging hubs will be on major trunk roads and urban areas. In London alone, the company’s planned roll-out will treble the current number of open network ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers. From 2022 onwards, at least 50 additional hubs will be added to the network each year, with a significant number sited on the strategic road network.

At the same time, EAN has been appointed an authorised supply chain partner for the award-winning EV charging network provider InstaVolt.

InstaVolt is one of the country’s fastest-growing EV network operators and plans to expand its install base from its current 600 units to more than 5,000 by 2025.  It counts some of the UK’s best-known brands within its portfolio of locations.

The company’s affiliation with EAN will realise the asset value of its charging infrastructure in support of its expansion plans.

“What we particularly like about EAN is the quality and efficiency of their in-house technical and legal teams, which means we can get new locations up and running quickly,” said Matthew Tunstall, Director of Operations. “We are also using Energy Assets’ automated metering technology to provide half-hourly data to help us monitor energy consumption.”

The InstaVolt network is available 24/7 under a pay-as-you-go model and was the first network to introduce contactless payment with no monthly subscription or membership cards required. The company has established corporate partnerships with major brands, including McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks franchisees. The company has also achieved success with gyms, supermarkets and local councils.

Symon Gray, Head of Networks at EAN said: “The move to net zero requires significant investment in EV charging networks and we are looking forward to playing our part in enabling this transition.

“We can do this not only by providing competitive asset values for infrastructure but by also speeding up the legal process to get charging stations built as quickly as possible.”



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