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Dobbies Garden Centre at Huntingdon: the first of nine sites to offer ultra-rapid charging

Charging network provider Be.EV has identified garden centres and hotels as candidates as ideal locations for ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargers after deals with two leading players in those sectors. It says the partnerships will help it achieve its ambition to “accelerate the UK’s EV revolution and improve communities”.

The company has introduced ultra-rapid charging at the first of nine Dobbies Garden Centres that will introduce charging hubs in the next few months. 

In a separate deal Be.EV says it has launched the largest public charging network in the North West at the popular grade II-listed hotel and wedding venue Abbey House Hotel & Gardens.

The first Dobbies outlet to be fitted, in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, has four 150kW ultra-rapid chargers serving eight bays, providing the typical EV with 125 miles of range in 15 minutes. Be.EV says that it is the only site within two miles of the store to offer ultra-rapid charging, serving the 35,000 nearby residents, and 12,000 daily vehicles which pass through the town every day.

Asif Ghafoor, chief executive at Be.EV, says the initiative will help increase footfall at the store by attracting new EV customers. “The Huntingdon site will provide shoppers and local residents with future-proof, ultra-rapid charging that will last for years to come, and other retailers should wake up and smell the roses,” he says.

Stefan Anderson, store manager at Dobbies Huntingdon, says the chargepoints show its commitment to a sustainable future. ”We’re glad to be offering our customers even more from their visit, and finding plenty of new drivers discovering us for the first time as they’re charging up,” he says.

Abbey House x Be.EV 1

Be.EV says it has introduced the largest public charging network in the North West at Abbey House Hotel & Gardens

The hub at Abbey House has 10 charging bays and will be available for use by the general public, including the nearby 40,000 residents of Dalton-in-Furness and Barrow-in-Furness, as well as holiday-goers and visitors and workers at a nearby hospital.

The project sets a strong example to the rest of the hotel industry, given nearly half of EV drivers wouldn’t stay at a hotel without an EV charger, says Be.EV. With less than 7% of the UK’s chargepoints being located in hotels, Abbey House has put itself at the forefront of solving this problem, it adds.

The site has two state-of-the-art Kempower ultra-rapid chargers which gives an 80% charge in 20 minutes, and three fast chargers for guests staying overnight. 

Abbey House says it selected Be.EV as its EV charging provider partly because of its commitment to respect the hotel’s 1914 Sir Edwin Lutyens’ architecture. 

Ghafoor says: “Abbey House is a great example of the role hotels can play in the EV revolution, and we’re still in a time when hotels can be a first mover and reap the benefits. Guests and visitors now expect EV charging on site during their stay, and local people need convenient ultra-rapid charging facilities.”