The Scottish city of Dundee has recently launched its latest EV charging hub highlighting how a proactive municipality can play a role in encouraging the EV ecosystem
One of the leading EV cities in the UK, Dundee, has recently launched its latest charging hub – which it claims is its most innovative so far. The hub will be the fourth installed in the city and will incorporate both rainwater harvesting and second life battery storage.
The introduction of the new hub aims to illustrate how public EV charging can become increasingly sustainable and energy efficient.
We spoke to Fraser Crichton, corporate fleet operations manager, city developments, to learn more about the new charging hub and some of the benefits that it brings.
Just Auto (JA): Could you tell me a little bit about the planning behind the launch of the city’s fourth charging hub?
Fraser Crichton (FC): We planned to install rapid chargers for the public which are fully accessible for all drivers to use without difficulty. During planning, we ensured that every feature of the hub’s design was considered to ensure EV charging can be easily done by anyone. We decided to install rapid chargers for fast, efficient charging.
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The council planned to utilise canopies which had been successful in previous projects to generate renewable energy from the sun to provide energy stored in a state-of-the-art battery storage system.
We chose to make a second use for these canopies in a collaboration with Bluewater to gather rainwater from the canopies in a 5,000-litre underground water storage tank. Drinking water is provided through this system and there is also 400kW capacity in the battery storage.
Why is this the most innovative hub to date?
The hub includes a drinking water filtration system courtesy of the award-winning experts at Bluewater. The new filtration system will capture rainwater from the solar canopy roof and filter it through a state-of-the-art purifying process, powered using energy from the charging hub’s solar panels.
In doing this, we not only limit CO2 emissions, but also help build greater resilience and reduce the demand on the municipality’s water supply.
We’ve also installed a new second life battery storage system, which will help Dundee reach its 2023 goals by offering a greener energy alternative while powering its circular economy. Implementing a battery energy storage system allows Dundee Council to store electricity through its own supply or from their solar PW array, supporting Dundee city’s own decarbonisation agenda.
Accessibility has also been a key concern when designing the new charging hub. The new public charge points will be fully accessible for those in wheelchairs of with limited mobility. There are no kerbs, allowing ease of access for wheelchair users, and the charge points feature assisted charging cables to make it easier to put EVs on charge. There are also blocks in bays to ensure space is left in front of vehicles for easy access to chargers.
What are some of the key facts and figures that the other hubs have already achieved?
Dundee Council has already saved more than 1,840 tonnes of CO2 through our EV fleet. The switch to EVs has also seen the council travel over 5.6 million miles on pure electric. The council supplies 145 public chargers across the city – there’s now an average of 3.9 public EV charge points per square mile across Dundee.
The charge points located at the top of our multi-storey car parks are equipped with slow chargers for longer stay charging. The Queens Street hub is located near other modes of transport (bikes and trains) for assisted travel for those who commute to Dundee.
What is the key goal of this new hub?
The key goals of the new hub are as follows:
- To ensure EV charging is fully accessible for all drivers and inclusive for those who have previously experienced difficulties with charging infrastructure.
- To ensure the entire process of charging is increasingly ‘eco-friendly’ through the use of solar canopies teamed with second life battery storage.
- To supply rapid and ultra-rapid charging for faster charging for Dundee’s EV drivers.
- To demonstrate the abilities of Dundee’s EV infrastructure and modern technology.
What are the next steps for the council on this EV journey?
The next steps in Dundee Council’s EV journey involve further expansion of EV infrastructure across the city. We will introduce further pop-up EV chargers to provide charging options for those who live in built-up areas without access to on-street charging.
We’ve also recently received £14 million levelling up funding to re-design the Bell Street car park and turn it into a sustainable transport hub across multiple levels. Some £3.5 million of this funding will go towards EV charging infrastructure – creating 350 EV charge points, car share space and an e-bike hire scheme.