Recently, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) decided to expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The main purpose of this decision is to improve air quality and to reduce the carbon footprint of the city. It is an excellent attempt to make Greater Manchester both eco-friendly and EV-friendly.
The expansion of the EV charging network is a part of the city regions 2040 Transport Strategy. The vision of this strategy is to create a sustainable, integrated, and top-class transport system to support air quality and carbon reduction limits.
Transport for Greater Manchester has awarded infrastructure services firm Amey a contract to expand and maintain its EV charging network. The contract will see the existing GMEV network rebranded as Be.EV. EV charging equipment, back-office and EV charge point management services will be provided by SWARCO who have already installed over 30% of the UK’s public rapid EV charging infrastructure. All public EV charge points on the network will provide 100% green energy, which will be provided by Octopus Energy.
Making The Vision A Reality
To turn this vision into reality, there is a lot of work to be done. The first step being undertaken is upgrading the structure of the current Greater Manchester Electric Vehicle (GMEV) network. This phase includes the installation of 24 fast chargers.
Once operational, the new EV charging network will transform from a “free-to-charge” system to a “pay-as-you-charge” system. The EV network will use renewable electricity for all the EV charge points.
For over 6 years, GMEV members enjoyed free EV charging. This was used as an incentive to encourage drivers to make the switch from vehicles with traditional combustion engines to electric. However, this transformation is essential to cover the ongoing operation and maintenance costs of the EV network.
Why A Pay As You Charge System is Necessary?
The Be.EV charging network must have a pay as you charge system to ensure the network is reliable and sustainable. Through this payment system, more investment can be made to the GMEV charging setup. This will help keep improving the charging network.
The proposed pay-as-you-charge fee would be up to £0.25 per kWh if using a fast EV charger and up to £0.35 per kWh using a rapid charger. Members of the Be.EV network will be eligible for reduced fees.
How Beneficial Will It Be For The City Region?
The EV charging network will be installed across all 10 councils areas of Greater Manchester and will be available to 2.8 million people in the city region. Since the base of its operation will be in Manchester, it will help increase employment opportunities. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with social enterprises and local businesses.
Moreover, it will help in supporting small business by providing an excellent EV network. According to the Director of Group Strategy and Development of Amey, one of their aims is to turn Greater Manchester into the largest eco-friendly economies in the world.
This initiative is a step forward towards making Greater Manchester’s transport system greener, cleaner, and sustainable. It is another step toward making this city region one of the best places to live and work in the country.
This is a brilliant scheme that will not only provide EV charge Points throughout the region, but it will create great opportunities for small businesses, social enterprises, and the public. This is a step forward towards making the city region a greener and sustainable place. The fast-charging stations will help the city to reduce its carbon footprint whilst also improving air quality.