“Beam me up Scotty” Monks Cross electric vehicle charging point “energized”

Nearly 12 months after they were supposed to be brought into use, York’s two “hyperhub” electric vehicle charging stations have reached another milestone

A report to a meeting next week says that the Long awaited hubs now require only “snagging” work and testing before they are brought into use.

The report fails to give an opening date.

It does say that the “energisation” of the sub station at Monks Cross took place on 28th April. The report says, . “All legal work is now complete and our IDNO are coordinating with NPG to schedule the final connection”

At Poppleton Bar the failure to open the site is putdown to “some minor snagging and the need to establish a back-office setup”

The report also provides more background information on the long delayed project.

Hyper Hubs are an innovative combination of solar energy harvesting and storage with electric vehicle charging points, reducing the reliance of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, we aim to increase the use of electric vehicles for journeys in and to York, providing eight private vehicle charging points at each site.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, a solar canopy would be erected over approximately 100 parking spaces, providing space for 1,400 m2 of solar panels. This canopy is an elevated structure – essentially a roof below which cars can still park – with solar panels on the top. Adjacent to the canopy, but not on land currently used for parking, there would be an energy storage facility – a battery.

At each site there would also be eight charging points for electric vehicles. Electricity generated by the solar panels would be used to hyper charge vehicles plugged in to the charging points. Electricity not used immediately would be stored in the battery. When the battery is full, this electricity could be fed into the national grid.

The solar canopies would use the free space immediately above the vehicles to harvest solar energy to the site. Batteries would then store the electricity, providing it either to hyper charge electric vehicles when plugged in, or feeding it into the UK electricity grid.

The electric vehicle infrastructure element of the project is to purchase and install the DC ‘hyper’ charging points (faster than current ‘rapid’ charge speed points at 50kW) which will supply the energy to the vehicles. These will be installed in a Hub of eight car bays which can supply up to 150kW power output per car, with a typical charging session taking 10-20 minutes. By way of comparison, a typical home charging point takes around eight hours to charge an electric car

Climate change plan updated by York Council

The update will be discussed next week. It can be read by clicking here.

It is fair to say that tangible progress has been unspectacular, with little ambition obvious in reducing emissions from domestic heating in the City. This sector offers the main opportunity for real progress and would be aided by general support from a population reeling from increased energy costs.

The report also fails to cast any light on the continued failure of the Council to bring into use the two “hyper hub” vehicle charging points construction of which concluded last year.

Indeed the update report suggests December 2022 as the opening date for the facilities which are located at Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park and Ride sites.

There has been no satisfactory explanation from the authority about the delay. Hopefully someone attending the meeting will have the courage to probe the reasons for the delay.

Bad news for electric vehicle users

A report to a York Council Executive meeting later this week assures taxpayers that a new “hyper hub” vehicle charging facility has been brought service at Poppleton Bar.

Electric vehicle owners low on charge would be wise not to head to the new hub just yet

Earlier today the hub was still not working. The hub was due to be brought into service before the end of January.

There have also been long delays in the commissioning of the other hyper hub at Monks Cross.

Work has still not started on a further promised charging site at the Union Terrace car park.

NB. There is a single charging point at Poppleton Bar which had been used by electric buses. The Park and Ride site is still in use as a COVID testing station..

Are we being charged?

More and more people in York are making the switch to electric vehicles (EV). That is good for the environment and is a welcome step towards the 2030 deadline for phasing out petrol/diesel vehicles. As a result the authorities are expanding the network of public chargers.in the City (although most drivers mainly use charging facilities at home).

As the York Council discovered a year or so ago, the unreliability of the charging network was becoming an issue. They promised to ensure that all local terminals were working.

click to access

EV drivers have a choice of on line maps which indicate, not only the nearest public charger,, but also whether it is in service and whether it is currently occupied. This allows drivers to divert to the nearest available point should they be running low on charge.

Vacant charging points in Bootham Row

The maps update in real time. The example above is provided via BP Pulse.

As we have observed before, some parts of York have adequate numbers of public terminals to meet existing demand. York’s dependence on the tourist economy will mean that it must stay ahead of the game on charger accessibility if it is to continue to attract long distance visitors.

The real challenges are to provide on street (lamppost) charging in terraced areas, to keep terminals in working order and to ensure that “fast charging” is an option.

Recently the Council installed 2 public charging points at the new Beehive centre on Ascot Way. Over the weekend these terminals were showing as “out of service”. This was later remedied but the incident did highlight another issue..

“Beehive” parking spaces. One was occupied by a ICE although there were several empty spaces only a few feet away.

The two charger parking spaces at the centre are marked out for electric vehicle use. But they also display the disabled reservation logo. While at a specialist centre like this, people would expect blue badge holders to be given priority, it is far from clear whether these terminals’ are reserved for the use only of blue badge holders driving EVs?

At the time that the photo above was taken the car park was only half full.

If a dedicated charger parking space is blocked by a petrol vehicle then it will still be displayed on real time maps as being available for EV charging use. This would be a potential cause of frustration for any visiting EV driver who was almost out of charge

Elsewhere in the country Liberal Democrats have highlighted (see below) the need for more rapid charging facilities. We hope that the Council in York is addressing that issue

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