Tesla’s technology will be deployed at a new UK plant dubbed “Europe’s Most Powerful EV Charging Hub”.
The announcement comes as authorities attempt to ramp up infrastructure to meet an expected increase in electric vehicle ownership in the coming years.
The Oxford Superhub, which is located on a park-and-ride site in the south of the English city, is due to open later this year and will offer “fast and ultra-fast chargers” to users of electric vehicles.
Other parties involved in the project are Oxford City Council, the fee companies Fastned and Wenea, and Pivot Power, which is part of EDF Renewables.
In a statement Friday, Oxford City Council said the development would use 10 Fastned chargers and 16 Gamma Energy chargers. In addition, the station, which runs on renewable energies, will offer 12 Tesla compressors.
The UK government plans to stop selling new diesel and gasoline vehicles from 2030. Starting in 2035, all new cars and delivery vans will no longer have to have tailpipe emissions.
These goals require a considerable expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in order to meet the increased demand and to dispel fears of “range fears”. This term refers to the idea that electric vehicles cannot make long journeys without being stranded.
In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday, Ford of Britain and Irish managing director Lisa Brankin addressed the need for more infrastructure.
“I think consumers are very concerned about what infrastructure is in place,” she said.
Brankin referred to a recent estimate by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that around 2.3 million public charging points would be required by 2030 to “provide adequate coverage and combat range fear.”
To achieve this goal, over 700 new charging stations would have to be installed every day by 2030, added the industry association.
Based on figures from Zap-Map, which contains information about the location of public charging stations, around 42 were installed every day for the 30 days up to March 22, according to SMMT.
“We need a really comprehensive multi-stakeholder plan to get to this charging infrastructure,” said Ford’s Brankin.
“The other support I think we really need is government support with incentives for customers to buy,” she added.
“Electric vehicles are slightly more expensive than conventional motor vehicles. In order to help the entire population with the changeover, I think we need support with incentives.”
As the UK shifts towards battery electric vehicles, discussions and debates about how best to manage this major transition will continue.
Just this week the UK Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee released a report in which consumers “were not yet all convinced that zero-emission cars are a suitable alternative to gasoline and diesel models”.
The report cited concerns about affordability, the length that electric vehicles can travel on a single charge, and “the availability and accessibility of charging points when and where needed”, among other issues.
The PAC added, “We are not convinced that the government has given sufficient thought to how to expand the charging infrastructure at the pace necessary to meet the ambitious phasing out schedule for gasoline and diesel vehicles.”
In response to the PAC’s report, a government spokesman said it had “a very ambitious and world-leading approach to increasing the adoption of zero-emission cars and the advances we are making in this area will help us meet our goals.”
“We are already investing £ 2.8 billion in helping the industry and drivers make the transition,” they added, “and we will continue our work to install thousands of charging stations and drive new technology development to meet our goals to reach.”