Rapid charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) will be set up in the centres of Newcastle and Sunderland by Dutch company Fastned.

The company, which is rolling out a network of fast charging stations throughout Europe, has won a tender from the North East Combined Authority (NECA) and Newcastle University to realise the two stations.

Each station will house six rapid chargers, with two of those at the Newcastle University site being the latest 175kW (and 350kW enabled) chargers. These high-powered chargers are capable of charging EVs up to 100 times faster than at home.

Fastned says drivers of many of the new EV models that will be released from 2018 onwards will now be able to add 125 miles of range to their cars in under 10 minutes, and all EVs already on the road will still be able to visit the stations to top up their batteries at their maximum charge rate.

As part of the agreement, Fastned will be collaborating with Newcastle University’s researchers to develop a greater understanding of the impact of EV charging on local electrical grids, and the potential roles for EVs and battery storage in the smart electrical grids of the future. At the same time, Fastned will work with NECA to research and understand business models for electric vehicle infrastructure in the region.

The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), and the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Fastned said it aims to build many more multi-charger stations all around the UK over the next three years.

In 2017 Fastned won a tender with Transport for London (TfL) to build and operate fast charging locations in the Greater London area. TfL is currently in the process of developing sites and making them available for Fastned and four other selected parties to bid for.