The EV Network and bp pulse Launch UK’s Largest Public EV Charging Hub at NEC Birmingham


bp pulse, The EV Network, and NEC Group Launch UK’s Largest Public EV Charging Hub at NEC Birmingham,West Midlands – In a significant milestone for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the UK, bp pulse, The EV Network (EVN), and NEC Group have officially inaugurated the country’s largest public EV charging hub on the NEC Campus. The Gigahub™, opened on September 7, 2023, received its inaugural launch by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.

The Chancellor, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, expressed, “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. 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.”

Designed to serve the annual influx of seven million visitors to the NEC Campus and the area’s approximately 60 million yearly road users, the Gigahub™ is easily accessible via the main NEC Campus road, less than a mile from junction 6 on the M42, and just 2.4 miles from junction 7A for the M6.

With the capacity to charge 180 EVs simultaneously, the Gigahub™ boasts state-of-the-art ultra-fast 16x 300KW DC chargers, including two designated accessible bays. These ultra-fast chargers have the capability to charge 30 EVs concurrently. Additionally, the site offers an additional 150 points for 7KW charging, including extra designated accessible bays.

The Gigahub™ caters to the diverse needs of various EV drivers, offering a range of charging speeds, from 300kW for ultra-fast DC charging to 7kW AC charging for extended stays. To enhance the convenience for visitors, the site includes a Starbucks Coffee drive-thru, allowing fast charging combined with the services EV drivers desire while they wait.

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NEC Birmingham, West Midlands – The successful launch of the Gigahub™, the UK’s largest public electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at the NEC Campus, underscores the power of collaboration in advancing the country’s EV charging infrastructure and surmounting barriers to development.

The EV Network (EVN), serving as the investor for this multimillion-pound project, played a pivotal role in the design, development, and construction of the EV charging Gigahub™. EVN entered into a long-term contract with the NEC Group to introduce EV charging infrastructure across the entire campus and collaborated closely with bp pulse on multiple projects launched throughout 2023.

bp pulse, one of the UK’s largest charge point operators, worked in tandem with EV Network to ensure the Gigahub™ offers an exceptional customer experience. Leveraging its extensive expertise, bp pulse will operate the new hub, focusing on delivering the right charging speeds in optimal locations. The company is dedicated to establishing a comprehensive EV charging network across the country and has plans to deploy hundreds of hubs by 2030, strategically placed in urban areas, along trunk roads, motorways, and at popular destinations such as restaurants, retail parks, and hotels.

The NEC Group’s strategic involvement in the project provided the fundamental foundation – the land itself. The prime real estate’s strategic location at the heart of the national motorway network makes it the ideal space to house the UK’s largest EV charging hub.

Paul Thandi CBE, DL Chairman of NEC Group, said: “We are proud to contribute to the UK Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. Working in collaboration with EVN and bp pulse, the opening of our EV charging hub provides NEC Campus customers, commuters, and those working for local regional or national businesses, a reliable and convenient way to recharge and support a lower carbon travel future.

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 “This strategic collaboration and initiative strengthen our destination offer, demonstrate our commitment to reducing the impact our business practices and our Masterplan credentials have on the environment, and ultimately supports a reduction in carbon emissions.” 

Akira Kirton, vice president of bp pulse UK, said: “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. 

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

Reza Shaybani, CEO, and co-founder of the EV Network, said: “The launch of the UK’s largest Gigahub™ is a massive game changer for EVN and a huge step forward for UK electric vehicle fast charging. The EVN team responding to the public demand for more – charging and we are responding with hundreds of millions of pounds of new investment and the very latest technology.

EVN has already built dozens of sites across the UK, but the successful completion of this new project launches us onto a much more ambitious growth path, as the leading business in our sector with a range of exciting new partners.” 

“The NEC was a perfect location that is not only geographically key, but of national significance, to support the EV charging landscape. EVN secured 6.5MVA grid connection, to support the entire infrastructure. The strategic placement and impressive scale of this charging hub within the UK’s transport infrastructure offers reassuring support to drivers journeying between cities. 

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“Our long-term relationship with both the NEC Group and bp pulse ensures this is not just an investment for the site’s visitors but a transformative step towards bolstering the entire EV charging infrastructure of the UK. “At EVN we are excited to invest £100M in EV Infrastructure projects this year, and we aim to invest a further £300M equity by 2025.” 

Alexander Walsh, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “The opening of the UK’s largest EV charging hub at the NEC is a significant step forward as more drivers across the UK move to electric vehicles, with sites like this playing an important role in supporting the UK’s energy transition. 

“Blackstone has been invested in the NEC since 2018, and this development demonstrates the positive impact private investment can have in driving innovation and creating green jobs, and we’re proud to be backing the industries of the future in the West Midlands and beyond that are helping build a more sustainable future.”

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