Up to 500 new chargers in Solihull

As many as 500 new electric vehicle charging (EV) points are to be installed across Solihull as part of a new contract to supercharge the borough’s EV charging network.   

Following a competitive tender process, Solihull Council has awarded a contract to pan-European charge point operator Qwello to install new charging points within Council car parks and on-street destinations by 2026.  

Phase one of the rollout will see over 150 charging points installed across nine locations, with the first sites anticipated to go live this summer.   

As part of the contract, ultra-rapid charging points will also be provided by InstaVolt, with 16 due to be installed in the first phase alone.   

The scheme supports the council’s EV Strategy which seeks to encourage wider adoption of electric vehicles and tackle barriers to ownership by increasing accessibility to EV infrastructure, while contributing to the Council’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. 

The roll-out of new charging points is supported by a £800,000 grant from the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot project, awarded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and Department for Transport (DfT).  

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Planning, said: “This is fantastic news for Solihull which will more than double the borough’s existing EV charging capacity.   

“Road traffic currently accounts for 41% of the borough’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, so making the switch to electric vehicles is going to be an essential part of our own efforts to tackle climate change. By facilitating the transition away from fossil fuelled vehicles we also have an exciting opportunity to drive improvements in air quality that will benefit the health and economy of Solihull. 

“The awarding of this contract drives our ambition for Solihull to be at the forefront of electrification both regionally and nationally, and we are delighted to be working with leading suppliers Qwello and InstaVolt on this exciting scheme.”  

Qwello UK’s Managing Director, Martin Hale, said:  Qwello has a proven track record of delivering charging solutions across many European cities and towns including London, Munich and Stockholm. All our chargers offer contactless payment as standard and feature a class-leading clear and accessible user interface.  

“We are thrilled to be working with our installation and maintenance partners Radius Charge Installations, InstaVolt and Solihull Council to help realise their ambitious EV charging plans.”   

Qwello’s fast charging stations will provide reliable, convenient and accessible charging experiences at destinations for all electric vehicle users, through user-friendly functions including contactless debit/credit card payment, reservation via the Qwello app, and 24-7 customer support.  

Each charging station also features an integrated retractable cable with an 11kW 3 Phase Type 2 plug that reduces trip hazards, can be operated with one hand, plus a 22kW AC Type 2 socket. Both are compatible with all European and US EV-connection standards.  

InstaVolt Chief Commercial Officer Simon Smith said:  “It’s an exciting development and testament to the Council’s commitment to improve air quality and encourage more motorists to drive electric.

“The partnership also underlines InstaVolt’s ambition to expand its network and improve the ultra-rapid charging network throughout the country.”

Image from Shutterstock

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