The results and findings from the Rapid Charge Network project are now available following the completion of the new 1,100km charging network installed across the British Isles through the Rapid Charge Network.

At its extremities, the European Union and vehicle manufacturer-funded network stretches from Stranraer in Scotland to Suffolk in the East of England, from Hull in Yorkshire to Holyhead in north-west Wales, connecting with Belfast in Northern Ireland and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

The overall aim of the project was to develop the electric vehicle marketplace in the UK by not only providing a charging network that allows drivers to drive further, more quickly but also by studying the impact of the creation of the network of a multi-standard, interoperable, rapid charge network.

Olivier Paturet, Zero Emission Strategy, Nissan Europe, said: “The Rapid Charge Network is the backbone of a UK-wide electric vehicle infrastructure. Now motorists can go further, faster in their EVs, we’re confident our network will accelerate awareness and uptake of these vehicles by consumers and businesses across the country.”

According to a study commissioned by the project undertaken by Newcastle University, 68% of drivers said that they would not have bought their electric vehicle without the availability of rapid charge points and over 90% of those surveyed said that the availability of rapid charging increased their likelihood of purchasing an EV as their next vehicle. The research also showed that 72% of EV drivers are motivated to use rapid chargers to extend their vehicle’s range for longer journeys.

The new Rapid Charge Network was conceived and implemented by Zero Carbon Futures to meet increasing demand for public charge points and to encourage more motorists to make the switch to plug-in power.

Dr Colin Herron, Managing Director at Zero Carbon Futures, said: “We’re delighted to have played a part in the development of a network which is providing drivers with what they need: a means of driving further, more quickly in their electric vehicles.”

“The development of the network has, however, not been without its challenges – in particular the lack of available power in some areas which we know will be an issue for the future. We hope to see continued investment into charging facilities in the UK to support the roll-out of the next generation of vehicles.”

The €7.4 million investment in the Rapid Charge Network was part-funded by the European Union’s Trans European Transport Network programme and by four major EV manufacturers: Nissan, BMW, Renault and Volkswagen alongside ESB, Ireland’s foremost energy company. ESB in Ireland and Ecotricity in the UK and are the network operators, providing power to all of the Rapid Charge Network charging stations.

The full academic report and the summary findings are both available on the Rapid Charge Network project website.

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