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In a further sign of the seemingly inevitable switch from fossil fuels to electric vehicles, the country’s largest operator of petrol stations is opening 60 electric vehicle charging hubs across the UK in 2022 at a cost of £50million.
Motor Fuel Group (MFG) will install 350 ‘rapid charging’ stations in the 60 sites, each of which is capable of charging up to 150kw.
Subject to each car battery, that should add around 100 miles of range in 10 minutes of charging.
Some of the sites will be electric only, while others will be put into existing petrol and diesel ‘dual-fuel’ forecourts
It’s part of a wider spend of £400million by the company into EV infrastructure by 2030, the year the Government has targeted for the banning of petrol and diesel sales.
MFG runs 900 forecourts around the country with partners like BP, Esso and Shell.
But many of the new sites are away from motorways and major roads.
That is likely to be in order to offer more charging to those drivers in urban areas.
MFG’s flagship EV ‘hub’ is in south-west London, while it claims to offer the north-west’s only ultra-rapid EV site in Manchester.
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In the UK some 60 percent of houses in urban areas don’t have garages and off-road parking and so rely on finding charging for cars elsewhere.
William Bannister, CEO, MFG, said: “We have already invested significantly, and ahead of the curve, on EV charging across our portfolio.
“We have an ambitious roll-out programme for 2022 which is focused on our network throughout the UK.”
This week Express.co.uk reported on the dwindling number of petrol stations in the country.
That’s in sharp contrast to the number of EV hubs being planned.
In December last year, Shell opened the UK’s first EV-only hub in Fulham, London.
The number of UK drivers buying electric cars has increased 110 percent year-on-year since 2020.
There are now just over 8,000 petrol and diesel stations in the UK, a reduction of 5,000 since 2020.
That’s a drop of around 35 percent and has resulted in drivers finding it harder to fill up in both rural areas and city centres.
Clean Air Zones (CAZs) in urban areas are also making owners of petrol and diesel cars pay more and more to enter city centres.
Some 22 CAZs are launching this year across the UK, fining drivers of vehicles with emissions that are too high.
This week saw furious motorists protesting against forthcoming CAZs in Manchester and Bury.
Electric vehicles don’t have to pay anything to drive within the zones.
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