Nissan is leading a partnership of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) manufacturers in a joint project through the European Union's Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) program, to create a multi-standard network through the United Kingdom and Ireland.
As well as helping to finance the €7+ million scheme, the consortium is providing other members of the project with the benefit of its extensive experience in the BEV field.
Nissan is joined in the project by BMW, VW and Renault: it's the first time leading BEV companies have united to accelerate the growth of EV charging facilities, seen as a key enabler towards making zero-emission mobility a market reality.
When complete, the UK Rapid Charge Network (RCN) will comprise more than 70 multi standard rapid chargers covering some 1,100km of major trunk routes and providing EV-friendly links to five seaports and five international airports.
Running on two priority road axes on the mainland of the UK, the RCN will link major ports and cities including Stranraer, Liverpool, Holyhead, Birmingham, Felixstowe, Leeds and Kingston upon Hull. There will also be networks embracing Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Significantly, the rapid chargers are the latest state-of-the-art multi-standard units and are compatible with cars using 44kW CCS, 44kW CHAdeMO or 43kW AC systems. This will ensure that EV drivers travelling in the UK and Ireland can undertake long journeys secure in the knowledge that they will never be far from a rapid charger.
Ten rapid chargers have been already installed with a further 28 sites soon to be commissioned. The start of the project's deployment was officially marked on 9 September 2014 at a ceremony at the Corley Services on the M6 motorway in Coventry, UK.
Baroness Kramer, UK Minister of State for Transport said: "We are serious about plug-in vehicles and have a comprehensive package of measures to help consumers and industry make the switch to electric. The UK now has the best rapid charging network in Europe. Projects like this highlight how industry is showing its confidence in the rapidly growing market."