27 September 2022

Electric game-changer comes to Rochdale

Ultra-rapid charging hub at St Mary’s Gate Retail Park to transform local EV infrastructure

St Mary’s Retail Park in Rochdale is the first site in Greater Manchester to be chosen for a new powerful type of electric vehicle (EV) charging hub, offering ‘ultra-rapid’ charging to the borough’s rising number of EV drivers.

With two special power banks delivering over a megawatt of power across eight charging bays, it will be the first ultra-rapid mini-hub built by Manchester-based Be.EV, the public EV charging network for the North. It can deliver 100 miles of charge in around 10 minutes (depending on the vehicle) – five times as fast as the fastest chargers currently available in Rochdale.

Landlord Glenbrook Investments is working with Be.EV to deliver public EV charging at its Rochdale retail park conveniently located just off the A58, en route to Rochdale Infirmary and around 10 minutes off the M62. Dunelm Mill and Carpet Right are tenants at the site.

The charging site is projected go live early 2023. Ultra-rapids are the next generation in EV charging and key in delivering the public charging infrastructure needed to enable a mass transition to electric vehicles. Their fast charging speeds mean more drivers can be served by a single charger.

Ultra-rapid chargers are still few and far between in the region, which is due to their power requirements. Be.EV is solving this issue by installing two special 550kW power banks from specialist Kempower to deliver up to 150kW per socket.

Richard Rees, Investment Director at Glenbrook Investments, said: “Hosting public EV charging at perfectly situated sites like St Mary’s Gate benefits both our tenants and the local community. It’s an easy way for landlords to support the roll-out of much-needed sustainable infrastructure. It’s good for Rochdale and it fits with our drive to support positive change through our investment process.”

Be.EV will be delivering the new chargers at its cost and will look after and potentially expand the number over time. The chargers will be accessible to the public and a discounted tariff is available to Be.EV members.

Uniquely, Be.EV uses the roll-out of its charging hubs as an opportunity to enhance the public realm and green charger settings as much as possible. Designs for charging bays in existing carparks include seating and planters alongside generous, accessible bays.

Asif Ghafoor, CEO of Be.EV, commented: “This is the North levelling itself up. Rochdale deserves and needs great infrastructure, and we all work together to deliver it - without a penny of public money and without waiting for Westminster to send help. A very progressive TfGM has put us on a mission to look after and build on their public EV charging network, by engaging anybody who can and wants to host EV charging. It allows us to go out and find partners like Glenbrook Investments to help us build a great network for the North faster.

“This is just the first of many new sites we’ve got in our sights in and around Rochdale, but it will make a huge difference to existing and aspiring EV drivers in the town already.”