Midlands to receive “a substantial investment” for new EV charging points

Electric vehicle charging network Be.EV is looking for sites for stations will be powered by renewable energy

Midlands could soon receive thousands of electric vehicle charging stations with a significant investment by EV charging network company Be.EV. The company is seeking sites in the region as part of its work to create new charging stations in the UK, with renewable energy supplier Octopus Energy set to power the stations.

The Manchester-based company is seeking dwell sites, such as retail parks, pubs and car parks, as well as looking to acquire freehold and leasehold sites in the region’s largest cities, including Birmingham, Derby and Nottingham.

It’s part of the company’s mission to sustainably accelerate the UK’s EV revolution and improve communities by installing reliable chargers across the country, backed by £110m from renewable energy investor Octopus Energy Generation.

Be.EV has appointed FHP, a leading commercial property agent, to source new sites in the Midlands. Doug Tweedie, FHP director and head of the Birmingham office, said the firm is considering a variety of easy-to-reach city centre and community locations, which will improve access to charging facilities for local people.

New EV charging sites will primarily focus on retail parks, pubs and new forecourts which will range from 0.2 acres upwards and be powered by renewable energy from Octopus Energy under the firms’ partnership.

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Tweedie said: “We know that mass EV uptake depends on the quality of the charging experience and at the moment, there simply aren’t enough reliable and accessible locations. Be.EV is well funded and has the UK’s fastest-growing charging network, with an impressive operational availability rate of 99.6 per cent. We’re thrilled to be working together to expand the community-centred public EV charging network in the Midlands and give more people the confidence to go electric.”

FHP is in discussion with commercial landlords and private landowners – some of whom were previously unaware that their sites could be redeveloped for EV charging purposes. It’s working to enable vacant sites such as petrol stations, supermarkets or drive-thru outlets to be repurposed and benefit from passing traffic.

“Aside from granting a lease, there is very little onus on the landowner, as Be.EV will ensure that each development is fully funded, managed and has access to power,” added Tweedie.

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In March, Bury Council signed a £9 million pound deal with the company to boost the town’s EV charger network, with more than 30 new EV charging points planned. And then a month later, Be.EV was announced as one of the 18 founding members of ChargeUK, the representative body for EV charging in the country.

Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Be.EV, said: “We’re delighted to work with FHP and bring our state-of-the-art charging infrastructure to cities across the heart of England. FHP understands the value of providing reliable, high-quality charging facilities in accessible, convenient locations and is now in the vanguard of the EV charging revolution.

“EV charging provides a great opportunity to increase footfall to sites and create new and sustained income streams for commercial landlords and landowners. With FHP, property owners from Birmingham to Nottingham can benefit from the UK’s EV transition whilst helping to reduce air pollution. We look forward to getting started and working together on future projects.”

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