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A proposal has been made by the National Grid for a new ‘superfast’ charging system, which could result in 90 percent of all owners of electric vehicles living no further than fifty miles away from the closest charging station. The Financial Times says that the proposal would create nearly a hundred high powered chargers to be situated alongside current networks located beneath the motorways of the UK. The news is particularly exciting for the owners of electric cars, due to the amount of power that the new chargers are expected to be able to deliver.
All of the hundred new chargers would be the so-called “superfast” 350KW chargers. These are capable of charging up an electric vehicle in as little as 5 to 12 minutes, quite an improvement on the current standard charging time, which can last from 20 minutes up to an hour. Ford, as well as a variety of German manufacturers, have agreed to join the Combined Charging System, a universal charging system that will be supporting the brand new 350KW network.
It is fair to say that at the current time there are a staggering, and often confusing array of different options by which the owners of electric vehicles can charge up their cars. This is a fact that has made both governments and manufacturers keen to begin offering a degree of consistency inside the network, as more and more people begin to switch to electric vehicles.
According to the estimate made by the National Grid, the cost of the construction of the complete network is likely to be somewhere between £500 million and £1 billion, which puts the final cost around 60 pence per year per driver. As well as the high powered chargers, the UK government is also proposing that the number of urban chargers should be increased, by making street lighting also capable of supporting roadside charging.
50 stations will be installed across the United Kingdom under the plan from the National Grid, with key sites being identified across England, Scotland and Wales to offer the new chargers. The chargers will help to make electric cars live up to the charging claims made by many models, such as the Jaguar I-Pace, which is touted as offering an 80 percent charge of its range of 310 miles within 45 minutes – but is unable to do so in the UK at the present time, because of the lack of such charging points. The new network may seem like it would be an enormous drain on the power supply of the United Kingdom, with enough electricity set to be used by the points to power as many as 14,000 homes, but the plugs will actually be directly wired to the National Grid, preventing on draw on power within the area of the points being used. Under new laws outlined in 2017, charging points are set to become mandatory across all service stations in the UK.