At Last! Monk Cross vehicle charging hub opens today

12 months behind schedule and still no satisfactory explanation for the delay

No news on opening date for the Poppleton Bar “hyper hub” or recharging costs

The Councils media release reads:

  • Monks Cross HyperHub is one of the largest charging hubs in Northern England
  • Four 175kW ultra-rapid chargers, four 50kW rapid chargers, with an adjacent area having 30 7kW chargepoints
  • Solar canopy allows site to generate renewable energy which can be stored in batteries at both Monks Cross and Poppleton
Two customers who have been queuing for some time at Monks Cross

York’s new electric vehicle HyperHub at Monks Cross is open from today [15 June]. For a limited time, the new site won’t be charging for electricity in a bid to test the new technology and encourage residents and visitors to visit the new site.

The Monks Cross HyperHub is located next to Park and Ride site and will be one of the largest charging hubs in Northern England. Poppleton HyperHub is set to open this summer.

Both HyperHub sites will contain 4 Ultra-Rapid (150kW) and 4 Rapid (50kW) vehicle chargers, helping to support the uptake of modern EV’s that have larger battery capacities and are capable of Ultra Rapid charging.

Monks Cross features four 175kW ultra-rapid chargers (which can be upgraded to 350kW when vehicle charging rates make that worthwhile), four 50kW rapid chargers, with an adjacent area having thirty 7kW chargers for Park and Ride users.

The HyperHub also has a solar canopy which allows the site to generate its own renewable energy which can be stored in the Tesla Powerpack batteries at the charging hub, helping to reinforce the grid.

The ultra-rapid and rapid chargers are user-friendly for EV drivers and offer contactless payment methods. Cars and vans can access the chargers, and the facility has been designed with no kerbs to allow disabled access. Protection from the weather is provided by the solar canopy and all of the electricity supplied from the National Grid will be generated by renewable sources.

A key element behind the development of the HyperHubs was the production of an Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy by the council. This looked at a wide range of issues in order to ensure that the HyperHubs met the needs of residents, fleets, commuters and through traffic. The convenient location of the charging hubs was a central part of the strategy, with the first two HyperHub sites being located off the ring road next to established Park and Ride sites.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy also identified that it wasn’t yet commercially viable for the private sector to develop such charging hubs, so the council would own its charging network in order to guarantee the best results for residents. This allows the council to plan how the network will grow and to set tariffs, as well as making it directly accountable and enabling it to deliver next generation chargers as quickly as possible.

The funding for the HyperHubs is also unique, with City of York Council successfully securing £1 million of European Regional Development Funding and £800,000 from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, along with £400,000 of the council’s own capital funding to install the first two HyperHubs. This has resulted in 80% of the £2.2 million project being externally funded.

For more information about the HyperHubs visit https://www.york.gov.uk/hyperhubs

There was a slight delay to the originally planned completion date of Monks Cross due to finalising commercial and contractual arrangements. There is no additional cost as a result of this delay. (!)

The unique project is the result of a partnership between City of York Council and EvoEnergy.

“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

Hyperhub Hyperbole?

A resident wrote to the local newspaper last week complaining that the Monks Cross hyperhub EV charging station had still not been brought into use. He was trying to score political points and a swift response from the Councillor with responsibility for Transport might have been expected.

Came there none

Previously the delays in bringing the hub into use – it was to have opened last summer – had been blamed on problems with the site lease. The letter writer claimed that the Council had simply forgotten to ask for a grid connection.

It now appears that he might have a point.

It is not only Monks Cross that hasn’t opened. The facility at Poppleton Bar Park and Ride site is also still secured behind two rows of locked gates.

There is no explanation board at either site explaining the delays nor any giving the expected opening date.

The COVID testing centre at Poppleton Bar has now closed.

The Park and Ride buses have not yet returned and the site is largely empty.

There are three conventional charging points on the access road to the park and ride site. These are the charging points used by electric buses. Only one is accessible to the public

After all the hyperbole attached to the announcement of the hyperhubs, residents are owed an explanation for the delays – together with a firm opening date for each.

More on electric vehicle charging stations in York

UPDATE We understand that although access to the “hyperhub” at Monks Cross is now possible, the rapid chargers themselves are not working.

As the Rapid and Ultra Rapid charging facilities at Monks Cross are not shown as working on the “zap map” we’ve checked them out today.

In fact the gates to the “hyperhub” (and the nearby fast charging stations) are now open

As the photos show, all they lack are any customers.

The absence of users is not surprising given the lack of publicity for the service

The picture at Poppleton Bar is rather different.. The Rapid chargers there still haven’t been brought into use.

The adjacent COVID test site is currently being decommissioned, so increased vehicle movement and parking is likely in the near future.

Poppleton Bar park and ride chargers still not working. (The car parked there was not charging)

We think that the York Council needs to issue a statement indicating precisely what chargers are available and where.

They should also ask organisations like Zap to update their databases.

The forward programme of installations (the Union Terrace project has been outstanding for months) also needs to be updated

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..