16 Aug 2023

M7 Real Estate celebrates opening of first ultra-rapid EV charging hub in collaboration with SSE Energy Solutions

The ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging hub, developed in partnership between SSE Energy Solutions and M7 Real Estate, was officially launched last Friday by Sir Brandon Lewis CBE, former cabinet minister and local MP. Situated at Gapton Hall Retail Park in Great Yarmouth, the cutting-edge 10-bay hub boasts 150kW charge units, alongside a 22kW charger, granting users the flexibility to choose their preferred charging option while visiting the site.

Strategically located at the roundabout junction of the A12 and A47, across from Tesco Extra, the shopping park enjoys excellent accessibility. The Gapton Hall hub is the first of an envisaged 50 charging stations planned for deployment across sites managed by M7. A subset of these stations, 20 in total, will be facilitated in partnership with Oxford Properties as part of a two-year initiative focused on electric vehicle infrastructure investment with SSE Energy Solutions. The project’s initial phase will witness the construction of an additional five hubs in key locations including Ipswich, Poole, Hayes, Colchester, and Chelmsford. This momentous occasion marks a significant step forward in sustainable transportation infrastructure.

In response to the rapid growth of electric vehicle adoption, the Government launched the ‘Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan’ in January 2023, collaborating with Ofgem to outline a roadmap for leveraging smart charging technology in the fight against climate change. Acknowledging that 90% of emissions arise from the UK’s roadways, projects like Gapton Hall stand as pivotal efforts in community-wide decarbonization, aligning with governmental aspirations to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director at SSE Energy Solutions, commented: “We are thrilled that Sir Brandon Lewis inaugurated the first of the EV charging hubs resulting from our collaboration with M7. His awareness of the significance of these hubs to his constituents underscores the importance of our work. Gapton Hall exemplifies the kind of hubs catering to every day EV drivers, conveniently positioned to simplify and expedite the charging process. Our ambitious EV charging infrastructure plans are on track, and we eagerly anticipate bringing these hubs to communities across the UK, both in partnership with M7 and through our independent construction of 500 hubs over the next seven years.”

Sir Brandon Lewis CBE, MP for Great Yarmouth, said: “The demand for electric vehicles is surging, necessitating our continuous efforts towards achieving net-zero emissions. I am delighted to witness SSE Energy Solutions and M7 Real Estate investing in such essential infrastructure. While Norfolk County Council champions EV use through initiatives like Travel Norfolk and the Electric Vehicle Strategy, the introduction of an ultra-rapid charging hub of this scale in Great Yarmouth is a first. I am optimistic that it will motivate more individuals to transition to electric vehicles.”

Josh Tyler, Asset Manager at M7 Real Estate, said: “Recognising the increasing significance of sustainability to customers, our retail parks are committed to promoting electric vehicle adoption. Ensuring a seamless and high-quality EV charging experience is integral to our asset management strategy. Our collaboration with SSE Energy Solutions was a natural choice due to their renewable energy commitment and proven expertise in this realm.”