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Oxford gets powerful EV hub, Kia e-Niro paramedic vehicles, UK car parc gets older

Oxford to get Europe’s ‘most powerful’ EV charging hub

A new 38-point electric vehicle charging hub will open later this year, claimed to be the most powerful in Europe with a total of 10MW on site.

The site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is the first of 40 so-called superhubs planned by Pivot Power, and will feature 10 300kW Fastned chargers capable of charging 14 vehicles simultaneously, as well as 12 250kW Tesla chargers and 16 Wenea 7-22kW chargers suitable for car park users leaving their vehicles for a longer period.

The development is claimed to be powered completely by renewable energy, and Pivot Power claimed it has been designed to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass charging needs.

“For Oxford to go zero carbon by 2040, we need to electrify a lot more of our transportation. As an innovative city embracing technologies and change, Oxford is the natural home for the UK’s largest public EV charging hub,” said Oxford City Council cabinet member for green transport and zero carbon councillor Tom Hayes. “We are excited to be taking a major step forward in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford, working closely and superbly with our private sector partners. As an ambitious city, we are excited about the prospect of further innovation and investments, building upon our record of transformational public and private sector delivery.”

Kia adapts Niro EV for emergency response use

South Central Ambulance Service has its first electric emergency response vehicles with the addition of a pair of adapted Kia e-Niro models being used as a pilot study on the 1300-vehicle fleet.

Kia e-niro emergency response 2021The cars have been designed and adapted to contain all the equipment, medication and supplies required by first responder paramedics, and are the result of an 18-month SCAS project involving “a great number” of electric vehicles, according to the organisation. They will be based at the Trust’s Oxford site, with the organisation expecting to roll out more vehicles across its territory once the tril has been completed.

“It was really exciting for my team and I to be given the opportunity to design the vehicles from the ground up, taking them from a standard electric road vehicle to an emergency response vehicle,” said South Central Fleet Services’ vehicle commissioning unit manager Gregory Edwards. “There were a number of challenges we had to overcome, including ensuring the additional electric systems needed in an emergency vehicle wouldn’t drain the battery, emergency light fittings, weight and space limitations, but we’re really pleased with the end result and our operational colleagues can’t wait to get behind the wheel and take them out to help our patients.

Britain’s car parc getting older, but vans hit record high

The average age of cars on UK roads hit a record high last year thanks to the decline in new car sales, SMMT car parc figures 2021although the number of vans has risen to record levels off the back of the rise in home delivery demand, according to the latest figures for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The average age of a car on UK roads is now 8.4 years old, with more than 10m vehicles having been built in 2008 or earlier. The SMMT said that while this is “testament to the durability and quality of modern vehicles, an aging fleet risks stalling the UK’s attempts to reduce emissions”, with the average emissions for a new car last year hitting 112.8g/km, 18.3% better than the 2011 figure.

The number of vans on UK roads was up 1.7% to over 4.6m, a record high, although the numbers of HGVs and buses and coaches fell by 3.1% and 10.7% respectively, with the passenger carrying sector hit particularly badly by the pandemic and taking unused vehicles off the road while not renewing vehicles.

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