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High-power charging network expands at Leeds

Date: 09 April 2020   |   Author: Simon Harris

Ionity has expanded its UK network with a 350kW high-power charging station for electric vehicles at Extra's recently constructed Leeds Skelton Lake Services, located on the M1 J45 east of Leeds.

Drivers will be able to charge their electric cars in less than 20 minutes, depending on their vehicle's charging capacity, using renewable energy from the Ionity charging points.

Leeds Skelton Lake is Ionity's fourth station to be launched in the UK with seven others planned to follow in 2020 in co-operation with Extra MSA Group - each with what are currently the UK's fastest EV chargers.

This is the first Ionity charging station in the UK to feature the new award-winning chargers premiered by the company at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new chargers use halo lighting to provide customers with information about the charging status of the battery and are easy to recognise for drivers while the illumination makes use in the hours of darkness more convenient too.

Ionity claims the position and design of the charging cable makes attaching the cable to the car much easier than current units.

There is increased demand for ultra-fast EV charging with newer electric cars and vans offering high-capacity batteries for longer ranges.

Ionity is a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz AG, Ford Motor Company, BMW Group and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche AG to establish 400 High Power Charging stations across Europe, enabling hassle-free pan-European EV travel.

The 350kW UK charging network is powered by 100% renewable energy and delivering infrastructure capable of charging times as low as 8 minutes for a 60-mile charge.

Marcus Groll, COO of Ionity, said: "Our continued expansion of the Ionity network in the UK signals our strategic commitment to enable long distance EV travel and to break down perceived barriers to EV usage in the UK.

"Close collaboration with site partners, like Extra MSA Group, has enabled Ionity to provide significant high power charging capacity on one of the UK's most important routes.

"Offering our new chargers in the UK is hugely important for EVs. Drivers travelling to or via Leeds can rapidly recharge their vehicles with 100% renewable energy.

"Our network will bring 40 high power charging stations to the UK, providing much-needed infrastructure for the e-mobility revolution.

"The reality is that 50kW chargers no longer offer customers fast enough charging on motorways and key travel routes and will therefore not facilitate the transition to e-mobility. Ionity's chargers are prepared for the advancement of battery technology and EVs of the future. Our network makes long-distance e-mobility a seamless experience."

With reference to the Covid-19 crisis, Groll added, "During the ongoing unfortunate coronavirus pandemic, we are continuing to provide full support to our customers and essential service providers, as we know that a great many people depend on an EV for their own essential journeys.

"We advise all our customers to follow government regulations on social distancing and hygiene measures while they charge with Ionity, to minimise the risk of infection and ensure safety for all users".

Andrew Long, CEO of Extra MSA Group, said: "While we obviously wish that the circumstances for opening Leeds Skelton Lake Services could have been different, we are proud to open this latest 'new concept' MSA and one which will provide a critical infrastructure role for the safe and efficient operation of this section of the Motorway Network.

We are pleased to be working jointly with Ionity and look forward to the opening of the other seven Extra/Ionity 'High Powered' EV Charging Stations at our other MSA locations later this year, these significantly including M40 J2 Beaconsfield and M25 J9-J10 Cobham Services."