Oxford installs first rapid charger for fleet EVs

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Oxford’s first 50kW rapid EV charger has been installed at the Oxford Direct Services (ODS) depot in Cowley as part of the £41m Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) project.

The Innogy eMobility rapid charger is capable of replenishing a fleet vehicle battery up to 80% in 40 minutes.

A further 32 fast 22kW chargers have been installed at ODS, which provides frontline services for the local community on behalf of Oxford City Council.

The 6ft-tall rapid charge point at Cowley Marsh paves the way for the first electric HGV to start work in the city, a vehicle that is also one of the first electric refuse collection vehicles built by OEM, Dennis Eagle, in the UK.

Councillor Tom Hayes, deputy leader and cabinet member for green transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “It’s a great moment for Oxford and the city council to see this new charging point going in, it’s a cornerstone event in the Energy Superhub Oxford project, which brings significantly more power to the city.

“Every vehicle powered by electricity helps to reduce the council’s emissions and address our climate breakdown and air pollution problem.

“The chargers’ smart technology will also help to achieve smarter ways of working, which should benefit the council as a whole.”

ODS, which provides waste collection, street cleansing, property, highways and parks management, is regarded as a suitable organisation to trial the new electric charging points and vehicles.

They will be used in a variety of situations to prove their efficiency and measure the impact of driving styles, working demands and charging patterns on the battery and vehicle performance.

ODS has 330 vehicles in its fleet and is aiming to make a quarter of them electric by 2023.

In total, 34 new EVs will arrive this year including cars, a street sweeper, an excavator and mix of different sized vans, with most interest focussed on the new refuse collection vehicle, which is due in Oxford for a trial period later this month.

A company-wide survey identified staff who could use the new vehicles based on their roles, and the ability to charge the vehicles at their homes if required.

According to Karl Anders, CEO of Innogy eMobility UK, the charging points will provide practical information to help ODS improve energy efficiency.

“The chargers gather data about the energy usage of each vehicle.

“ODS can extract that data and integrate it into third party platforms for management reporting, to understand driving behaviour and identify potential efficiency improvements across its fleet.”

RFID cards or app authentication allows only authorised drivers to charge their vehicles ensuring the fleet remains operational at all times.

ODS will retain control of its charging infrastructure and the data created by its users, and will be able to record results against climate change objectives.

For example, when the new electric refuse collection vehicle is in use this one vehicle alone is expected to record a saving of 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

When all 27 refuse carts are electric, 750 tonnes less CO2 will reportedly be emitted in Oxford per year – equivalent to the weight of one average car every day.

What’s more, chargers can dynamically manage the load between priority and routine vehicles as well as the available energy on site.

Ultimately, the aim is for chargers to connect directly to ESO’s EV charging network, which will be optimised alongside a new super battery that will deliver massive amounts of power for rapid EV charging at key locations around the city, including the public superhub at Redbridge Park & Ride.

The ESO project, led by Oxford City Council and Pivot Power, also includes Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, Kensa Contracting and the University of Oxford.