Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, is no stranger to innovation on the track but is now taking it into the car park with the help of engineers from the electric vehicle (EV) and infrastructure specialist Arup.
Silverstone has installed two of the most advanced EV charging points currently available, one in the public car park adjacent to the main circuit entrance and one outside its new innovation centre - a move that will enable race-goers and business visitors travelling to the venue using low carbon vehicles to replenish their batteries free of charge.
Speaking at the unveiling of the new charge points, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited Richard Phillips, said: “This is one of the first steps in our plan to become a focal point for showcasing EVs and educating the public about the capabilities of electric cars.
“The introduction of these charging points means that EV drivers within a 60 mile radius of Silverstone can attend some of the premier events on the racing calendar and should they prove popular we intend to install many more.”
The points are manufactured by Chargemaster Plc and can each support two cars simultaneously - enabling EV drivers from cities including Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Oxford and North London to drive direct to and from the venue for events such as the Grand Prix, Le Mans Series and Moto GP without the need to re-charge en route.
Arup Associate Director Tim Armitage, who oversaw their installation, said: “At Silverstone we have been able to deploy the latest generation charging point technology and apply the sum total of knowledge gained about electric vehicle driving and charging habits to ensure the solutions applied here are both relevant and future-proof.
“The charging posts are compatible with all of the mainstream electric vehicles on the road today, the posts feature a modular design, which means that they are fully upgradeable in-situ as future technological developments occur - removing the need for costly or disruptive works.”
Their installation at Silverstone is part of an extension to the successful Plugged in Places3 bid by Milton Keynes Council and has been funded by SEEDA - who have championed the roll-out of an advanced interoperable charging network that extends the number of potential destinations EV drivers can travel to.
SEEDA4 Chief Executive Oona Muirhead CBE welcomed the extension to the Plugged in Places as good for businesses and vehicle users. She said: “We are delighted that our investment has helped to widen the network of charging points, extending it into Silverstone and other areas of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. This will stimulate demand for all makes of electric vehicles, and economic benefits will cascade down to businesses involved in the supply chain such as those providing components. By showing that this part of the South East is up for introducing future technologies, this will encourage other companies to invest in the area, including foreign companies.”
Milton Keynes Council Leader, Andrew Geary, added: “Milton Keynes5 has always been a pioneer for green technologies and is fast becoming known as a showcase low carbon city. We’re therefore delighted to be providing local people with an opportunity to choose EVs with fewer compromises over where they are able to travel.”
Visit the Chargemaster website to learn more and see locations of charge points. www.chargemasterplc.com.
1. About Arup
Arup is the creative force behind many of the world’s prominent building, infrastructure and industrial projects. We offer a broad range of professional services that combine to make a positive difference to our clients and the communities in which we work.
Arup is truly global. From 90 offices in 35 countries 10000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver work across the world with flair and enthusiasm.
Founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values, our unique trust ownership fosters a distinctive culture, an intellectual independence and encourages truly collaborative working.
This is reflected in everything Arup do, allowing it to contribute meaningful ideas, help shape agendas, and deliver results that frequently surpass the expectations of clients. As part of the Milton Keynes Plugged in Places extension project Arup has so far overseen the installation of 13 charge points, with a further 7 planned over the next few weeks.
2. About Chargemaster PLC
Chargemaster is the premier supplier of electric vehicle charging solutions in the UK and Europe. Its partners and customers include: TfL, Hertz, Enterprise Rentacar, Europcar, Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury, SSE, British Gas, EDF, Vinci, East of England PiP and over 15 local authorities across the UK.
3. About Plugged in Places
The first Plugged-in Places announced by the government in February 2010 wereLondon, Milton Keynes and the North East. Called Plugged-in Places, these areas were selected for their desire to introduce charging infrastructure in car parks, major supermarkets, leisure and retail centres, as well as on the street.
The Coalition Government has since set out its commitment to support the Plugged-In Places programme and offers match-funding to local consortia of businesses and public sector partners wishing to install a critical mass of electric vehicle recharging infrastructure in lead places across the UK.
4. About SEEDA
SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency, is the Government-funded agency responsible for the sustainable economic development of the South East of England – the driving force of the UK’s economy. Through supporting businesses, encouraging innovation, developing skills and engaging with public and private partners, our aim has been to create a successful, sustainable future for the area.
The Government has announced that all Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), including SEEDA, will close by 31 March 2012. Responsibility for economic development and regeneration in England is being passed onto successor bodies, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and central Government departments.
SEEDA’s is committed to completing a professional and cost effective closure by this date and will work closely with partners, contractors and stakeholders to ensure that the past and future economic benefits of key programmes and assets continue to deliver the greatest economic value for the South East and value for money for the taxpayer.
For further information, please visit: www.seeda.co.uk.
5. Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes’ goal is to become an international showcase for low carbon living. Milton Keynes Council and its partners have developed a sustainable approach to housing, education, energy, water and transport. Former firsts includethe UK’s first solar powered house in 1972 and the UK’s first kerbside recycling collection in 1992.
For further information, please visit: www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mklowcarbonliving.