National Highways to invest £11M in storage at service stations for rapid EV charging

Government-owned National Highways has announced that it will invest £11 million in 20 energy storage systems for service stations in England where the grid supply is not enough for rapid charging of electric vehicles (EVs).
National Highways said it is currently discussing the plans with prospective suppliers. It plans to install the battery storage systems, which will connect to motorway services operators’ charge points, within the next two years. It says the move will help end ‘range anxiety’ by improving the network of charge points for EV drivers using England’s motorways and major A-roads. The chargers are among those previously included in the government’s goal of around 6,000 high powered chargers on the motorway network by 2035.
Malcolm Wilkinson, head of energy for National Highways, said, “Whilst we have limited control over the number of petrol and diesel cars on the network, by supporting the expansion of the rapid charge points network, we hope to increase EV drivers’ confidence for all types of journeys, both long and short.”
The scheme comes as part of National Highways’ Designated Funds programme ‘to benefit people, the economy and the planet’ with an overall investment of £936 million between 2020 and 2025.
It has previously invested £12.5 million into local authorities to encourage businesses with diesel van fleets to make the switch to electric. However, for its traffic officer rapid response fleet National Highways has chosen plug-in hybrid EVs, instead of fully electric. It has acquired 72 of the vehicles.
National Highway’s net zero carbon plan aims to achieve net zero for its own operations by 2030, deliver net zero road maintenance and construction by 2040 and support net zero carbon travel on the roads by 2050.