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Low carbon journeys unlocked across Wales with huge investment in EV charging access

19/07/2023

We have completed major upgrades to the electricity network across Mid and North Wales, paving the way for the rollout of rapid EV charging across the region.

In collaboration with Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, SP Energy Networks has created additional electricity capacity for EV chargers to serve major roads, commuter hubs and tourist locations across Wales.

This vital investment will help make low carbon car journeys accessible for more people, by giving EV users confidence in making long journeys across Mid and North Wales. It will also provide a huge boost to achieving Welsh Government’s low carbon transport ambitions, including the installation of up to 4000 rapid EV chargers by 2030.

With a climate emergency declared by Welsh Government in 2019 and the ban on petrol and diesel cars approaching, future proofing the electricity network to support EV charging rollout has never been more important.

 Liam O'Sullivan

SP Energy Networks Manweb Director Liam O’Sullivan said:

“We’ve worked closely with our partners to identify more than 20 sites that will benefit from new infrastructure for EV charge points, which will really make a difference to those commuting and travelling through Mid and North Wales.

“By taking a forward-looking approach and delivering ahead of need, the Green Recovery Investment project ensures capacity is available as people make the move to low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps.

“And we’re already seeing that in action with connections at some sites already up and running and supporting customers on their journeys, such as the Rhug Estate which now makes use of eight rapid, EV chargers, making it the second largest EV charging site in Wales.

“That’s exactly the kind of change we’re enabling through infrastructure investment, and we look forward to continuing to work with partners and service providers to create the net zero energy future we all want – and need.”

Lee Waters, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Climate Change (with responsibility for transport) said:

“We are in a climate emergency and we all need to play our part in the drive to hit net zero by 2050.

“Making the switch to electric vehicles is just one thing that will make a difference but, to do that, drivers need confidence in the charging facilities available.

“It is crucial that we work with the private sector to develop charging infrastructure and we are grateful to SP Energy Networks for their work in delivering major upgrades to the electricity network.”

By making visitor destinations in rural Wales more accessible to EV owners, it is hoped that footfall at local businesses and tourist destinations will be increased and that local economies will benefit. And the work required to bring charging facilities to these sites is making sure local supply chains in Wales can benefit and play their part too.

Eight of the sites have also been selected in collaboration with Transport for Wales, to ensure that rural commuters can access EV charging at transport hubs in local towns.

Geoff Ogden

Geoff Ogden, Chief Planning and Development Officer, Transport for Wales said:

“TfW and SP Energy Networks worked together to identify sites to deliver capacity ahead of need.  “We have worked closely with SP Energy Networks and Welsh Government to find the right locations for capacity upgrades that offer the maximum benefit for road users who are commuting.

“Proactive infrastructure investment is absolutely crucial is we are to achieve Net Zero. We’ve worked with SP Energy Networks to identify 8 sites, 7 of which are now live, and it’s great to see they are already well used, particularly at Dolgellau. Proactive infrastructure investment like Green Recovery is so important to achieving net zero, it’s been great to work with SP Energy Networks to identify sites and ensure they are future proofed for increased use of EV’s.”

The work has been made possible by SP Energy Network’s Green Recovery Investment Project. The Distribution Network Operator has worked with Ofgem and the Energy Networks Association to unlock over £60 million funding to help bring forward connection to low carbon technologies and accelerate the drive to net zero.

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