BP Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric car charge point provider, will install 400 points capable of ultra-fast 150kW charging by 2021 – including 100 at 50 sites by the end of 2019.
Unveiled today at Silverstone, the new Ultracharge 150 is the first such unit to be built in the UK, and will allow electric vehicles to charge at their maximum rated speed.
It is claimed the charger will deliver around 100 miles (160km) of range in 10 minutes, which approaches the 75 miles (120km) per five minutes offered by Tesla's third-generation Supercharger, revealed in March. The Californian maker's new unit is capable of splitting 1MW of power between four cars, for a 250kW charging rate per car.
The new Ultracharger 150 features both CCS and Chademo connectors, making it compatible with the majority of EVs on UK roads. Customers can either subscribe to the service for regular use, or pay by the hour.
Speaking at a BP Chargemaster conference, Tufan Erginbilgic – CEO of BP’s product and service-led arm, Downstream – said the roll-out of 150kW chargers on its petrol station forecourts would begin in July. The chargers will be part of the Polar network, which is made up of more than 6500 public charging points across the UK.
The roll-out will help future-proof the UK’s charging network, as currently very few EVs are capable of charging at 150kW. Audi’s E-tron is one that is, and its 95kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent in around 30 minutes.
The current network of ‘rapid’ chargers are mostly capable of a 50kW charge rate, while Tesla’s current Superchargers are capable of charging at up to 120kW.
Companies such as Pod Point, Fastned and Ionity all claim to be rolling out chargers capable of supplying power at 150kW and above, but there’s currently only a handful that are operational in the UK. BP Chargemaster’s announcement is the biggest commitment so far as a result.
The development of the UK’s charging infrastructure is seen as one of the most crucial factors to enable the UK to meet climate change targets, including its promise to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
In 2018, London-based Pod Point installed the UK's first 150kW chargers, claiming that its intelligent smart-charging technology would be able to cope with high levels of demand without placing too much strain on the electricity supply.
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