Leclanché batteries to support new electric vehicle charging network in the UK

By David Pratt
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Image: Phil Dolby.

Leclanché has been selected by a new UK electric vehicle (EV) charging network to support the roll-out of hundreds of EV chargers by limiting their impact on the grid with energy storage units.

The EV Network announced yesterday its plans to deploy 200 fast chargers by 2025 as part of over £600 million of public and private investment in low carbon transport unveiled by Prime Minister Theresa May at the country’s first Zero Emissions Vehicle Summit.

The company was formed in October 2017 by Reza Shaybani, chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association, and will seek to utilise batteries from the Swiss manufacturer Leclanché – of which Shaybani is also a VP of strategic projects – to minimise grid impact at each location.

Anil Srivastava, chief executive of Leclanché, said: “The UK has one of the most advanced EV markets in the world and will continue to lead the way thanks to the policies introduced by the British Government to support the decarbonisation of the UK transport system. Our partnership with the EV Network to deliver battery storage solutions across the UK is a significant step to help accelerate the UK's transition towards cleaner transport.”

Leclanché’s new partner intends to follow the existing ‘petrol station format’ by offering charging clusters to replicate the consumer patterns already in place by those driving traditional vehicles.

Shaybani said: “The existing EV charging infrastructure is not ready for the mass uptake of EVs that we are going to witness over the next 10 to 20 years. What we need to do is try to get as close to the petrol station model that consumers have grown so accustomed to and replicate that for EV charging.

“As well as offering consumers a convenient place to charge their cars, the speed of charging will be the fastest available thanks to our exclusive partnership with key technology leaders including Leclanché, the world leading battery and energy storage company whose best in class transport charging solutions are being adopted across marine, consumer, busses and other forms of public transport worldwide.”

The company says it has 80 prime locations secured for the development of EV charging stations, and will be looking to replicate this model outside the UK from 2019.

The news comes as the UK attempts to position itself as a “world leader” in low carbon transport, with over £600 million of new investment announced yesterday to develop clean vehicle, refuelling and battery technology. These technologies have been deemed a priority as the country prepares its exit from the European Union, with one in five EVs sold in Europe manufactured in the UK.

The UK government's international trade secretary Liam Fox said: “The UK is already a world leader in electric vehicle technology and the partnership between the EV Network and Leclanché will reinforce the UK's position in this exciting sector.

“My international economic department works closely with global investors to maintain the UK's position as Europe's premier investment destination and this move is an example of how international partners can come together to deliver for Britain.”

By signing the deal with the EV Network, Leclanché will seek to build on its experience piloting stationary energy storage to support fast charger networks with Fastned in the Netherlands. The company’s batteries act as a buffer between the EVs charging and power being drawn from or put onto the grid, while also utilising solar generation from Fastned’s charging locations.

The company is also eyeing further activity in the UK, as Srivastava explained: “Building on the announcement of this very exciting partnership with EVN, Leclanché is looking forward to making further announcements in due course regarding our expansion in the UK market as we continue to make important progress with UK based strategic partners who are also extremely committed to the electrification of transport.”

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