New-generation Nissan electric crossover announced for UK production
Envision AESC, world-leading battery producer and long-standing partner of Nissan, will build a new 9GWh-capacity gigafactory equipped with state of the art battery technology
Renewable energy ‘Microgrid’ to deliver 100% clean electricity for automotive manufacturing in Sunderland
2nd life EV batteries used as energy storage for ultimate sustainability
Interconnected projects create 6,200 green jobs at Nissan and in UK supply base
SUNDERLAND, UK – Nissan today unveils Nissan EV36Zero, a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub creating a world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem.
Centred around the record-breaking plant in Sunderland, UK, Nissan EV36Zero will supercharge the company’s drive to carbon neutrality and establish a new 360-degree solution for zero-emission motoring.
The transformational project has been launched with an initial £1bn investment by Nissan and its partners Envision AESC, a global player in world-leading battery technology, and Sunderland City Council. Comprised of three interconnected initiatives, Nissan EV36Zero brings together electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery production, setting a blueprint for the future of the automotive industry.
Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer, Makoto Uchida said: “This project comes as part of Nissan’s pioneering efforts to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. Our comprehensive approach includes not only the development and production of EVs, but also the use of on-board batteries as energy storage and their reuse for secondary purposes.
“Our announcement today comes out of lengthy discussions held within our teams, and will greatly accelerate our efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality. The experience and know-how gained through the project announced today will be shared globally, enhancing Nissan’s global competitiveness.
“Nissan will continue to leverage its strengths in electrification to become a company that continues to provide value to its customers and society.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Nissan’s announcement to build its new-generation all-electric vehicle in Sunderland, alongside a new gigafactory from Envision-AESC, is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East.
“Building on over 30 years of history in the area, this is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come.
“Commitments like these exemplify our ability to create hundreds of green jobs and boost British industry, whilst also allowing people to travel in an affordable and sustainable way so we can eliminate our contributions to climate change.”
Unveiling Nissan EV36Zero at the Sunderland Plant today, Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, Ashwani Gupta, said: “This is a landmark day for Nissan, our partners, the UK and the automotive industry as a whole. Nissan EV36Zero will transform the idea of what is possible for our industry and set a roadmap for the future for all.
“We reached a new frontier with the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-market all-electric vehicle. Now, with our partners, Nissan will pioneer the next phase of the automotive industry as we accelerate towards full electrification and carbon neutrality.”
Building on Nissan’s historic 35 years of manufacturing excellence in Sunderland, the projects announced today represent 6,200 jobs at Nissan and its UK suppliers, including more than 900 new Nissan jobs and 750 new Envision AESC jobs at its new smart, low-carbon battery plant. Longer-term, the transformational project modernises and expands Nissan’s EV production capability in the UK.
Envision AESC, the battery arm of global green tech company Envision Group, will deploy integrated AIoT smart technology to monitor and optimize energy consumption, manufacturing and maintenance at its new gigafactory, enabling it to rapidly increase production and provide batteries to power up to 100,000 Nissan electric vehicles a year.
UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This fantastic investment by Nissan and Envision-AESC represents a solemn commitment to the people of Sunderland, bringing further high-skilled jobs and turbocharging our plans to level up the North East. This is a huge step forward in our ambition to put the UK at the front of the global electric vehicle race, and further proof, if any was needed, that the UK remains one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive manufacturing.
“I am extremely proud that Nissan has not only reaffirmed its belief in Britain, but is doubling down on its long-standing commitment to our country. The cars made in this plant, using batteries made just down the road at the UK’s first at scale gigafactory, will have a huge role to play as we transition away from petrol and diesel cars and kick-start a domestic electric vehicle manufacturing base.”
A new-generation electric crossover
As part of the £1 billion announcement, Nissan will invest up to £423 million to produce a new-generation all-electric vehicle in the UK. Building on Nissan’s expertise in crossovers and the worldwide success of the Nissan LEAF, it promises next-generation vehicle styling, efficiency and battery technology, making the switch to electric driving even more accessible.
Designed for global markets, UK production will be exported to the European markets traditionally served by Nissan’s Sunderland plant. The new crossover will be built on the Alliance CMF-EV platform, with a forecasted production capacity of up to 100,000 units to be installed.
Production in Sunderland will create 909 new jobs at the plant, and more than 4,500 in the UK supply chain, while safeguarding a further 75 R&D jobs. The transformational project takes the total capital investment by Nissan into the plant past £5bn, and also includes:
R&D at Nissan’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Support for UK suppliers to transition to electric vehicles
Plant competitiveness and environmental improvements
Skills development in the Nissan workforce for future technologies
Other production locations have not yet been confirmed. More details about the new vehicle, including pricing and technology, will be released closer to the car’s sales launch.
With next-generation EV batteries
Envision AESC already owns and operates Europe’s first battery plant in Sunderland, established in 2012 for the localisation of Nissan LEAF battery production. The factory’s UK team has nine years’ expertise from supplying batteries to the Nissan LEAF and eNV200, having produced enough cells, modules and packs to power over 180,000 electric vehicles in 44 countries, meeting global benchmark levels of quality, performance, safety, reliability and cost.
Supporting this new model allocation, Envision AESC will invest £450 million to build the UK’s first gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the Nissan plant, powered by renewable energy and pioneering next-generation battery technology.
The formal planning process is about to begin for the new gigafactory, which represents an initial 9GWh plant, with potential future-phase investment of £1.8bn by Envision AESC, generating up to 25GWh and creating 4,500 new high-value green jobs in the region by 2030, with potential on site for up to 35GWh. The new plant will increase the cost-competitiveness of EV batteries produced in the UK, including through a new Gen5 battery cell with 30% more energy density which improves range and efficiency. This commitment will power Nissan’s new vehicles, supporting the continued localisation of vehicle parts and components with advanced technology. This will make batteries cheaper and EVs more accessible to a growing number of customers in the future.
The new gigafactory will create 750 jobs and safeguard the jobs of 300 current employees.
Lei Zhang, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envision Group, said: “Envision Group’s mission is to be the net zero technology partner of choice for global enterprises, governments, and cities. We are therefore delighted to be a part of EV36Zero with Nissan and Sunderland City Council. As part of this, Envision AESC will invest £450m in a new, cutting-edge, low-carbon gigafactory in Sunderland creating 700 new jobs. ,
“This commitment builds on our long-term partnership with Nissan to achieve our global ambition to make high performance, longer range batteries for EVs affordable and accessible for millions more motorists.
“Growth in demand could bring future investment of up to £1.8bn, additional capacity of 25GWh and 4,500 jobs by 2030. This will put the North East at the heart of a new EV hub in the UK, collaborating on R&D around the whole battery lifecycle, from storage, to second life use, V2G smart charging and closed loop recycling.”
Zero Emission vehicles and Zero Emission Manufacturing
Bringing this ecosystem together, Sunderland City Council is leading a project that aims to deliver a 100% renewable electricity ‘Microgrid’ that will save 55,000 tonnes of carbon annually.
With the ability to incorporate the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, initial plans suggest there could be as many as ten solar farms created, with an anticipated 132MW generation, and with a direct connection to renewable energy from the UK grid for ‘firm’ supply to Nissan and automotive companies located on the adjacent International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP). Plans will continue to be developed in close discussion with potential private sector green investors.
A first-of-its-kind, this project is estimated to be an £80 million investment and also includes plans for a 1MW battery storage system using second-life Nissan/Envision AESC batteries, which will also allow for excess energy generated during daylight hours to be captured and used at another time, helping to balance demand on the grid. Additional infrastructure projects enabling the creation of the new EV Hub take the total initial investment above £1bn.
Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “Sunderland is an ambitious city, and today’s announcement is game-changing one for us, for the region and for UK Plc, and the culmination of many months of partnership working with Nissan, Envision and UK Government to ensure that we landed this transformational project.
“We’re proud to be acting as a key enabler, working to secure an £80m infrastructure project that could be the first of its kind in the UK, bringing together energy generation, consumption and storage through a dedicated microgrid.
“We have a commitment to making Sunderland as a city carbon neutral by 2040 and electrification is a key part of that vision. Today’s announcement places Sunderland at the centre of electric vehicle production in Europe. It vindicates the unwavering belief this council has in the city’s ability to drive the electric revolution, working in partnership with the private sector and Government to bring nationally significant projects to fruition, creating jobs and prosperity for our people and businesses, and delivering cleaner, greener cars in the process.”
Nissan in the UK
Nissan started production in Sunderland in July 1986, 35 years ago this month. Since then the plant has grown into the biggest plant in the history of the UK automotive industry, supporting 46,000 UK jobs.
Also based in the UK are Nissan’s European Design Centre in Paddington, London (NDE) and R&D Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire (NTCE), designing and engineering Nissan vehicles for customers across the region and beyond.
Current production in Sunderland includes the Nissan Qashqai, Juke and LEAF, most of which (70%) are exported to mainland Europe, with 20% sold in the UK and a further 10% exported to markets than span the globe, from South America to Australia, and from the Nordics to South Africa.
The new £1 billion Nissan EV36Zero development heralds the next phase of Nissan’s electrification plan and its UK operations.
Consumer tastes and preferences are changing. The driver to these behavioural changes can almost be linked to technological innovation. Technology is one part of a three-pronged phenomenon that’s behind the electric vehicle revolution. The other two key drivers are environmental awareness and political policy changes.
Is the UK geared up for the rise in electric vehicles?
Most recently, point 4 of Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan announced in November 2020 stated, ‘We’ll invest more than £2.8bn in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.’
The UK has committed to Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Transport is currently the largest emitting sector of the UK economy, responsible for 27% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions; within this, cars are responsible for 55% of transport emissions. Electric vehicles (EVs, or sometimes known as Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVS)) offer one method of reducing emissions, with the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) suggesting that all new vehicles should be electrically propelled by 2035, if not sooner, to achieve the Net Zero target.
Simply, the nation will only be in a position to ban new petrol cars by 2035 if the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is fit for purpose….
What are Electric Vehicles (EVs)
EVs run, either partially or wholly, on electricity, stored on board the vehicle in batteries or produced from hydrogen. Whilst cars represent 92% of the 432,000 ULEVS licensed (1.1% of all licensed vehicles) at the end of 2020, there are also electric motorcycles, taxis, buses, vans and heavy goods vehicles. The market for EVs is immature, yet growing, with 8.5% of registered vehicles ULEVs in 2020. Meanwhile, only 1.8% of used car sales, responsible for approximately 80% of transactions, involved alternatively fuelled vehicles.
‘The ban’ on the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles
Reported by Powersystems The original deadline for the ban on new petrol and diesel sales was 2040 but in February this year, Boris Johnson announced at the UN climate conference (COP26) that the government will bring this forward to 2035 or earlier if feasible, subject to consultation. Another five years has been taken off the original deadline, but the 2035 date is reportedly being kept for the end of hybrid car sales.
Unofficially In February, 2020 Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced his intention to bring forward the ban on sales of new petrol, vehicles from 2040 to 2032. The subsequent Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown and accompanying economic downturn brought the car industry to a standstill in the UK, the Government has since put the 2032 target back to 2035.
2020 was set to be a landmark year for electric vehicle innovation. However, in April 2020 new vehicle sales were down 97% on the previous year. According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders which show pure battery-electric cars held just a 1.6 per cent share of the new car market last year.
As of May 2021, the number of total electric cars registered in the UK were more than 535,000 plug-in vehicles with approx. 260,000 BEVs and 280,000 PHEVs registered. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) made up 8.4% of all new cars sales in May 2021, with 13,120 registrations. That was down from 12.0% in May 2019, when the figure was boosted by EV firms such as Tesla continuing contactless deliveries. In the first five months of 2021, the 54,051 BEVs sold accounts for 7.5% of the market, compared with 4.3% in 2020.
Launching a car scrap-page scheme?
And of course to support the conversion to electric vehicle the government is reportedly considering launching a car scrap-page scheme, in which drivers could be given up to £6,000 to trade in their diesel or petrol vehicle for an electric one. However, earlier in March this year the government cut the electric car grant from £3,000 to £2,500, and lowered the upper price limit for eligible vehicles from 50,000 to 35000. The move attracted criticism from industry experts who said it sent out the wrong message. Should the reported £6,000 initiative go ahead, it would mean price parity between many electric vehicles and their petrol counterparts.
Is the UK charging infrastructure fit for purpose?
A report issued on the 19 May by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the 2030 target would be missed without urgent action to improve infrastructure – The government has a “mountain to climb” to reach its goals of phasing out new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and for all new cars to be zero-emission by 2035.
PAC criticised the government for lacking a plan to achieve these targets and tackle the consequences of an all-electric car society, including the impact on the future power needs, the impact on the skills and capabilities required to support the changeover and the impact on the government tax-take due to the loss of fuel duties.
PAC also detailed recommendations into charging infrastructure, stating it isn’t convinced that the government has “sufficiently thought through” how this will expand at the pace required to meet the targets.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has made assumptions about the types of journeys people will make and how they charge their car, but not estimated the number of charge points required across the country to keep up with the increase in electric vehicles (EVs).
Alongside the additional work needed on on-street charging, both the DfT and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) also need to work with other departments to consider the practical implications of the transition to zero-emission cars, the PAC said.
In particular, they should set out how they are going to manage the wider societal impacts such as the impact on power generation and transmission and retraining the workforce.
According to National Grid Future Energy Scenario (FES), the UK needs approximately 87-113GW (scenario dependent) of renewables capacity by 2030 and 197-231GW by 2050. The current market and options available for new-build renewables are inadequate to keep the UK on track to meet its net-zero target.
As Baroness Brown, vice chair of the Committee on Climate Change, stated at June 2021 launch of the Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign, “the UK missed the boat on wind technology and missed the boat on batteries. We can ‘t afford to miss the boat on hydrogen”.
It looks like the UK is on track for missing the annual ramp up rate of 5 GW as well, with new build renewables currently facing a tough choice regarding their route to market options, with challenging and volatile market conditions making it tough to secure investment and ultimately build-out projects. Reform is needed now!
The National Grid believes that consumer behavior will change to avoid charging at peak times, therefore resulting in a less significant increase to peak demand.
Wider proliferation of electric vehicles will add demand to the grid. However, “smart charging” or “vehicle to grid” can reduce charging at peak times, and the batteries in the vehicles could become an asset to the National Grid, as they have the potential to be used for grid balancing. ‘Smart’ use of the electricity system involves using power at times when demand (and therefore prices) is low. Consumers can benefit from cheaper power, and operators benefit from an easier to balance system and avoiding all cars being charged simultaneously, such as at the end of rush hour.
Smart meters, which are currently being rolled out, have the potential to allow more detailed information on consumption to be sent to energy suppliers, and more reactive use of power for customers. For example, ‘Time-of-use’ tariffs are already available from some energy suppliers, rewarding customers with smart meters who choose to sign up for using power at times of low demand. Integrating smart devices, such as smart charging electric cars, into this mechanism could mean that additional demand for electric cars is significantly reduced.
An extension of smart charging, the concept of ‘Vehicle to Grid’ (V2G), is that when supply is low and demand high, EVs connected to the grid to charge can instead release power back into the grid. Owners of the vehicles can then be paid for this balancing service in a similar way to electricity storage unit operators. In theory, if a vehicle is needed to be charged for a certain time the owner could register that time and this would override the use of the car as a power source. Some suppliers have been developing V2G offers for their customers, though availability is currently limited
Are consumers ready to switch to EVs?
Today, it is a widely held view by the man on the street that a petrol vehicle is more reliable than an electric vehicle, because you are never to far from a petrol pump! The majority of the car-buying public aren’t ready to switch to an electric car.
Perceptions by approx. 27.8 million households advised by the energy regulator Ofgem found that they were unlikely to get an electric vehicle, because batteries do not offer enough range between charges, lack of on-street charging points near homes and of course the price is to high. All points play a significant concern when thinking about switching to an EV.
Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 13.6% of new cars sold in the past four months had a plug, while figures from the Department for Transport show that more than half-a-million ultra-low emission vehicles are now being driven on roads across the country.
New research suggests that around one in four households across the UK plan to buy an electric car or plug-in hybrid in the next five years.
It has been reported that there are more public places to charge an Electric Vehicle in the UK (around 30,000) than there are petrol stations, but like all statements ‘the context’ is really important…
Zap-Map.com a UK-wide charging points map for electric cars, says that 24,649 charging points have been installed in 15,680 locations, and 700 added in the last 30 days, with more being added every day. To give you an idea, currently there are charging locations for example 7,526 in London, 2,558 in Scotland, 1742 in the South West.
However, at the time of writing there are currently only 1,080 ultra-rapid charge points and 2,970 rapid chargers at locations in the UK, and this means the difference in facilities on offer between a 20-minute ultra-rapid charge, to hanging around for what could be literally hours.
Quick guide on the the main types of chargers
There are three main types of EV charging – rapid, fast, and slow. These represent the power outputs, and therefore charging speeds, available to charge an EV. Power is measured in kilowatts (kW). Each charger type has an associated set of connectors which are designed for low- or high-power use, and for either AC or DC charging.
50 kW DC charging on one of two connector types
43 kW AC charging on one connector type
100+ kW DC ultra-rapid charging on one of two connector types
All rapid units have tethered cables
Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge an EV, often found at motorway services or locations close to main routes. Rapid devices supply high power direct or alternating current – DC or AC – to recharge a car as fast as possible. Depending on model, EVs can be recharged to 80% in as little as 20 minutes, though an average new EV would take around an hour on a standard 50 kW rapid charge point.
Ultra-Rapid DC chargers provide power at 100 kW or more. These are typically either 100 kW, 150 kW, or 350 kW – though other maximum speeds between these figures are possible. These are the next-generation of rapid charge point, able to keep recharging times down despite battery capacities increasing in newer EVs. For those EVs capable of accepting 100 kW or more, charging times are kept down to 20-40 minutes for a typical charge, even for models with a large battery capacity. Even if an EV is only able to accept a maximum of 50 kW DC, they can still use ultra-rapid charge points.
7kW fast charging on one of three connector types
22kW fast charging on one of three connector types
11kW fast charging on Tesla Destination network
Units are either untethered or have tethered cables
Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7 kW or 22 kW (single- or three-phase 32A). The vast majority of fast chargers provide AC charging, though some networks are installing 25 kW DC chargers with CCS or CHAdeMO connectors. Charging times vary on unit speed and the vehicle, but a 7 kW charger will recharge a compatible EV with a 40 kWh battery in 4-6 hours, and a 22 kW charger in 1-2 hours. Fast chargers tend to be found at destinations such as car parks, supermarkets, or leisure centres, where you are likely be parked at for an hour or more.
3 kW – 6 kW slow charging on one of four connector types
Charging units are either untethered or have tethered cables
Includes mains charging and from specialist chargers
Often covers home charging
Most slow charging units are rated at up to 3 kW, a rounded figure that captures most slow-charging devices. In reality, slow charging is carried out between 2.3 kW and 6 kW, though the most common slow chargers are rated at 3.6 kW (16A). Charging on a three-pin plug will typically see the car draw 2.3 kW (10A), while the majority of lamp-post chargers are rated at 5.5 kW because of existing infrastructure – some are 3 kW however. Charging times vary depending on the charging unit and EV being charged, but a full charge on a 3 kW unit will typically take 6-12 hours. Most slow charging units are untethered, meaning that a cable is required to connect the EV with the charge point.
Investment to get Britain ready for more electric vehicles
Ofgem unveils £300m investment to get Britain ready for more electric vehicles. – Ofgem is to invest £300m on more than 200 low carbon projects to get Britain ready for more electric vehicles, with motorway service areas and key trunk road locations across the country set to get the cabling they need to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points. This £300m down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40bn of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years. “The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.”
UK businesses are set to invest £15.8bn in the electrification of their vehicle fleets over the next year. – A 50% uplift on their spending during the previous 12 months, according to research, commissioned by Centrica Business Solutions, which revealed that UK firms spent £10.5bn on electric vehicles (EVs) and on-site charging points during the year to March 2021 but are now planning £15.8bn of investment in the same area over the next 12 months– a 50% increase year-on-year. Of these businesses, six in ten (58%) cited the need to meet corporate sustainability targets as the biggest driving factor behind their increased adoption of EV, followed by reducing operational disruption caused by low and zero-emission zones (51%) and the attraction of the lower maintenance and whole-life costs offered by EVs (37%). Range anxiety was reported as the chief concern for a third (34%) of these firms, followed by the need to prioritise business investment elsewhere during the height of the coronavirus crisis (32%).Despite this, two-thirds (67%) of all companies polled claimed they are well-prepared to operate a fully electric fleet by 2030, when the Government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles comes into effect.
Now that 2030 is set in stone as the end of new petrol and diesel sales we need to ensure three things to help get us there, sufficient affordable electric vehicles to meet demand, reliable affordable charging infrastructure that’s available to all and a flexible affordable energy system that can deliver green power where it’s needed.
Powersystems UK have been awarded the contract for the design, procurement, installation, testing, commissioning, energisation and hand over of the Electrical Balance of Plant Works associated with the proposed Cowley Private Wire Network, also known as the Oxford Superhub for Pivot Power / EDF Renewables.
This is a prestigious project to be involved in, with the electrification of the Oxford City’s transport links, providing EV charging infrastructure at strategic locations.
The project is located in Cowley, Oxford. The works comprise of 33 kV private wire network between Pivot Power’s BESS at National Grid’s Cowley Substation, Oxford Bus Company bus station and Redbridge Park and Ride. It includes HV AC switchgear and underground cabling, an earthing system, foundation groundworks, substation access control, electrical substations, and associated control and monitoring works.
The works will be connected to the Cowley Battery System 33kV network at the outgoing terminals of the dedicated private wire network metering circuit breaker on the Battery System BESS 33kV switchboard the Point of Connection, (POC).
Providing CoP3 metered 33 kV connections to customers at the outgoing terminals of dedicated metering circuit breakers at an Oxford Bus Company substation and the Redbridge substation.
The Private Wire network crosses private land leased to Pivot Power, public highways including cycle ways and residential areas and private land used as a bus depot and a Park and Ride for the City of Oxford.
The bus depot houses c.120 buses and the park and ride houses c.1400 public parking spaces.
Both sites are active transport links for the city and are extremely busy transport hubs.
The Oxford Superhub is UK’s first grid-scale battery storage system directly connected to the transmission-network as part of the £41 million Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project and has recently been activated by Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, Wärtsilä, the global technology company, and Habitat Energy, the battery storage optimisation specialists.
The government-backed project, integrates energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to decarbonise Oxford by 2040 and creates a blueprint for other towns and cities to achieve net zero.
The 50MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system will be directly connected to National Grid’s high-voltage transmission system at the Cowley substation on the outskirts of Oxford. It is the first part of what will be the world’s largest hybrid battery, combining lithium-ion and vanadium redox flow systems, which is due to be fully operational later this year. The energy storage system will provide essential flexibility to cost-effectively integrate more renewables, increase system resilience and future-proof the UK’s electricity network.
About Energy Superhub Oxford
Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is one of three demonstrator projects part-funded by the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund under its “Prospering from the Energy Revolution” (PFER) programme. ESO – a collaboration between Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, Kensa Contracting, Oxford University, and Oxford City Council – will showcase rapid electric vehicle charging, hybrid battery storage, low carbon heating, and smart energy management to improve air quality and accelerate Oxford’s zero carbon journey.
Ofgem delivers £300 million down payment to rewire Britain
Electricity – distribution
Electricity – transmission
£300 million investment for over 200 low carbon projects to get Britain ready for more electric transport and heat.
New infrastructure to support 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas.
Part of a broader investment programme for safe, secure and clean energy, with £40 billion confirmed already and more to follow in 2022.
Ofgem is today powering the electric vehicle revolution, with motorway service areas and key trunk road locations across the country set to get the cabling they need to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the current network.
A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities. As drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric, Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support this new demand for electricity.
The investment will be delivered in the next two years and is part of a much bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies. The magnitude of this investment is expected to be in the order of over £40 billion through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.
Every region in Britain will benefit from today’s announcement, with 204 net zero projects worth £300.5 million across England, Scotland and Wales. These shovel-ready, low carbon projects start this year, supporting clean transport and heat, and opening up local electricity grids to take on more low carbon generation.
While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home. An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’, so Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.
Cities like Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses. Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said:
“This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.
“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.
“In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs.”
Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister said:
“I warmly welcome today’s news from Ofgem, which will greatly improve the resilience of our charging network as we build back greener.
“With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”
David Smith, chief executive at ENA which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said:
“With just a few months left until COP26 we are delighted to have been able to bring forward such a crucial enabler of the Prime Minister’s green recovery ambitions. Delivering a green recovery for seas, skies and streets, over £300m of electricity distribution network investment will enable wide-ranging projects which help tackle some of our biggest Net Zero challenges, like electric vehicle range anxiety and the decarbonisation of heavier transport.
“This new funding shows the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be brought forward by industry working closely with a flexible regulator.”
Keith Bell, Member of the Climate Change Committee, said:
“This joint initiative by Ofgem and the electricity distribution network companies is a welcome development, showing flexibility in the regulatory arrangements in the long-term interests of energy users. On the journey to Net Zero, we need to make it as easy as possible for people to manage without their combustion engine cars. Electric vehicles are looking more and more attractive, but we need to make sure they can be charged easily, and that means having the right infrastructure – charge points and network capacity – in the right place at the right time.
“As well as enabling charging of electric vehicles and the electrification of heat, network investment will provide support for supply chains and, where projects require expansion of the workforce, the creation of new jobs. It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”
Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association and each of the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) launched a call for evidence in February for energy networks to come forward with projects that could help Britain reach net zero emissions faster and support the economy as the country comes out of the pandemic.
Last year, Ofgem announced its greenest ever price control with billions invested into network companies and the system operator from April this year. The regulator has also indicated that it will allow billions more investment and better use of flexible technologies and innovations for the local electricity networks from 2023.
Notes for editors
1. This phase of Ofgem’s Green Recovery programme is focussed on the local electricity grids within the current price control. Ofgem is working with the transmission and gas distribution companies to develop further opportunities within their recently confirmed funding settlements.
6. Local electricity grids are run by Distribution Network Operators. DNOs across Britain are responsible for carrying electricity from the high voltage transmission grid to industrial, commercial, and domestic users. The 14 DNOs in Britain are each responsible for a regional distribution services area, and are owned by six different groups. These groups include:
Powersystems look at the most ambitious shake-up in the bus sector in a generation – as operators, councils and government find ways to power greener bus journeys as well as greener funding initiatives as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Greener Industrial Revolution announced in November 2020.
The Prime Minister set out a new vision to level up local transport connections throughout the country, making every day journeys easier, greener and more convenient.
New bus strategy announced to reform the sector
Following the launch of the £3 billion green bus strategy this month, which has been described as the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation.
The 5-year new funding investment sees passengers benefit from an overall greatly improved service, as well as an aim to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric/hydrogen buses to provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel. And transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses.
Further details of programmes will be announced in the upcoming National Bus strategy to be published later this year at the Comprehensive Spending Review, and follows the allocation of £170 million to support more electric buses, increase rural mobility and trial new ‘Superbus’ services. Read more about the changes.
19 Applicants for the bid were required to outline existing plans to reduce green house gases, and demonstrate how they would tackle further air quality problems.
Working with bus operators Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will install charging infrastructure as well as replace the entire fleet of buses on the roads and bus lanes of Coventry. This will also include pantograph overhead charging points which will be available to all bus operators.
This new clean electric bus fleet will improve public transport as well as drive a further step change towards tackling climate emergency as well as Coventry’s range of schemes to exceed overall pollution targets, these combinations will have a dramatically positive affect on air quality, emissions and further support the reduction in noise pollution.
As we build back greener across the UK, the Government has committed to decarbonise the transport network, with an aim to achieving net zero by 2050.
A further 25% of the added costs of electric vehicles over diesel, and charging infrastructure will be funded by local bus operators, Coventry Council and Warwickshire Council. Alongside stakeholders TfWM in partnership will lead the project.
Further £65m funding set for air quality, electric vehicles and nature restoration
The government has announced (9 March) the £40m second round of its Green Recovery Challenge Fund, alongside further funding for air quality projects and electric vehicle innovations.
As the UK Government plans to phase out the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The Department for Transport has announced a further £20 Million for the Office for Zero Emissions vehicles Transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles competition and a further £2m for support smaller companies working on emerging zero-emission vehicle technologies, through the Niche Vehicle Network.
Previous winners of such funding have included a prototype zero emissions ambulance that can hit 145km per hour and a recharging system that emerges from the pavement, avoiding the risks of cables trailing from homes.
Thinking about a new electric bus project and your depot conversion?
Powersystems advise – The first job is to secure grid capacity for your electric vehicle, bus, van or fleet project, this is of paramount importance, even before proceeding with vehicle procurement.
The transformation from diesel buses to all electric can be a complicated process for a garage infrastructure and failure to secure grid capacity can lead operators to the exposure of potentially high and in some cases up to six figure connection costs.
These are exciting time as we play our part in helping you to build back better and power your fleet to a green economy.
government publishes major new bus strategy, outlining most ambitious reform to the sector in a generation
buses will be more frequent, cheaper, greener, and easier to use as government continues its levelling up agenda
councils and operators will work in partnership for the benefit of passengers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (15 March 2021) unveils the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes, and new flexible services to reconnect communities.
The government’s new bus strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.
Levelling up services across the country will encourage more people to use the bus, rather than the car, as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The changes include:
simpler bus fares with daily price caps, so people can use the bus as many times a day as they need without facing mounting costs
more services in the evenings and at the weekends
integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes, so people can easily move from bus to train
all buses to accept contactless payments
Hundreds of miles of new bus lanes will make journeys quicker and more reliable, getting people out of their cars, reducing pollution and operating costs.
deliver 4,000 new British-built electric or hydrogen buses will provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel
transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses, safeguarding the UK bus manufacturing industry
end sales of new diesel buses, and we have launched a consultation on the end date today.
We expect to see local authorities and operators working together to deliver bus services that are so frequent that passengers can just ‘turn up and go’ – no longer needing to rely on a traditional timetable and having the confidence they won’t wait more than a few minutes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Buses are lifelines and liberators, connecting people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take, driving pensioners and young people to see their friends, sustaining town centres and protecting the environment.
As we build back from the pandemic, better buses will be one of our first acts of levelling-up.
Just as they did in London, our reforms will make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions.
The fragmented, fully commercialised market, which has operated outside London since 1986 will end. We want to see operators and local councils enter into a statutory “enhanced partnership” or franchising agreements to receive the new funding and deliver the improvements.
It is expected that many councils will choose enhanced partnerships, where local authorities work closely with bus companies, drawing on their operating knowledge and marketing skills. Others may decide that franchising works better for them.
Because of the decline in use caused by the pandemic, bus operators have already received significant emergency support from the government. From this summer, only services under these arrangements will be eligible for continued support or any new sources of funding from the £3 billion transformational investment. The government will also consult later this year on reforming the Bus Service Operators Grant – the current main stream of government bus funding – to achieve the same objectives.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said:
Buses are this country’s favourite way of getting around. They help us get to school, to the GP, or to the shops – but services across England are patchy, and it’s frankly not good enough.
The quality of bus service you receive shouldn’t be dependent on where you live. Everyone deserves to have access to cheap, reliable and quick bus journeys.
The strategy we’re unveiling today will completely overhaul services, ensuring we build back better from the pandemic. Key to it is the new deal it offers to councils – we will provide unprecedented funding, but we need councils to work closely with operators, and the government, to develop the services of the future.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
Buses are the backbone of public transport in the West Midlands, carrying more than 250 million people every year. Today’s strategy is therefore very welcome, and will enable big city regions such as ours to ensure buses remain at the heart of our future transport plans. Residents here want clean, decarbonised buses that are affordable and continue to remain reliable and punctual, and that’s what the new strategy laid out today will deliver.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
For bus passengers, today’s announcement of more frequent buses and simpler fares will be welcome news. For many, buses are a lifeline to employment, education, medical appointments and leisure, and are essential to the economy. We know that the key priorities for those considering using the bus are more services running more reliably, providing better value.
Since the pandemic, safety and cleanliness have become ever more important. We will work with bus operators and other partners to make sure passengers’ needs are at the heart of new arrangements.
It also sets out ambitions to provide greater access to bus services for all, with plans revealed to require ‘next stop’ announcements onboard buses throughout Great Britain, helping disabled passengers and others to travel with confidence. The government will also launch a consultation on new regulations to improve access onboard buses for wheelchair users.
London-style services aren’t appropriate for all rural and suburban areas, which is why the Department for Transport is today also announcing the recipients of the £20 million from the government’s ‘Rural mobility fund’, which enables on-demand services – such as minibuses booked via an app – to be trialled in areas where a traditional bus service isn’t appropriate.