That’s more like it! BP opens Gigahub with 180 charging bays | Top Gear
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Wednesday 4th October

That’s more like it! BP opens Gigahub with 180 charging bays

Big car park with hundreds of chargers is exactly what we need, right?

Published: 08 Sep 2023

BP has opened what it claims is the biggest public charging station in the UK, with its new site in Birmingham providing space to charge up to 180 EVs at once.

On the face of it this is exactly the kind of thing we’re going to need (lots) more of in the coming years: the station overlooks the M42 and is just a short hop from the M6, so it’ll serve plenty of motorway users who can pop into the Starbucks drive-thru when they stop.

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However, only 30 of the 180 bays are ‘rapid’ charging points, with the rest simply 7kW units that are no speedier than your average driveway wallbox.

‘Ah!’ you’ll be thinking. ‘It’s flawed, I tell you. Flawed!’ But before you dive into the comments section to righteously bash away at your keyboard, note that the station is embedded deep within the NEC Campus, so those slower chargers will be handy for anyone visiting the exhibition centre or spending the night at the various nearby hotels.

Note also the fortuitous placement of the adjacent, pre-existing substation. Probably makes power a little easier to come by, that.

“This is the biggest private investment in electric charging in the UK and is a huge vote of confidence in Britain’s role as a leader in green industries,” said chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt MP, who cut the ribbon to officially open the station yesterday.

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“The ground-breaking site will be a major transport hub for the future and marks a significant step in our rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country”.

Meanwhile Akira Kirton, vice president of BP Pulse, added: “The transition to electric vehicles is evolving at pace which is why bp pulse is focussed on accelerating the development of the UK’s EV infrastructure, delivering the right charging speeds, in the right locations and investing up to £1 billion to do so.

“This new, nationally significant bp pulse Gigahub™ at the heart of the UK’s road network, is another great example of our strategy in action.

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“We plan to roll out hundreds of hubs this decade in places EV drivers needs [sic] them - urban areas, on trunk roads and motorways and at destinations such as restaurants, retail parks and hotels.”

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