New rapid EV charging in Birmingham is legacy of 2022 Commonwealth Games

Rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging technology that can charge a car in just 30 minutes is now available at Sutton Park, thanks to infrastructure fitted for triathlon athletes. 

Ahead of the games held last summer, the car park at Boldmere Gate was upgraded and fitted out with new power infrastructure so that it could be a transition area for those competing in the Triathlon and Para Triathlon events. Now, that £1m investment will benefit residents of and visitors to the city.

Cllr Liz Clements and Cllr Majid Mahmood from Birmingham City Council using the new rapid EV charging points at Sutton Park

Cllr Liz Clements and Cllr Majid Mahmood using the new rapid EV charging points at Sutton Park, photo courtesy of Birmingham City Council

Ten EV charging bays have been made available. Four of these are 50kw rapid chargers. There are also three 22kw fast chargers each have two charge points, so can serve two vehicles at a time. These will fully charge a vehicle in two to four hours, depending on the vehicle’s battery. The chare points are available during standard car park opening hours and can be paid for pay-as-you-go or on a monthly membership basis.  

All 10 chargers use 100% renewable energy. The wider work to prepare the site ahead of last year’s games means that major events in future can be staged here without needing new temporary infrastructure and power sources. The hope is that this will boost the city’s ambitions for net zero. 

The accessible car park was designed by the Birmingham City Council in partnership with Natural England, Historic England and Sutton Park Advisory Committee. The EV charging points are funded through a combination of the £2.9m grant awarded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to the council to roll out a city-wide network of fast (22kw) and rapid (50kw-100kw) charge points, plus partnership funding from ESB Energy, the council’s procured EV network delivery partner. 

Cllr Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport at Birmingham City Council, says: ‘This is a flagship site for the technology we are rolling at pace across the city on the highway, in public car parks, train station park and ride car parks and other local parks across the city. 

‘Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common with each passing day. It is vital we get charging points installed at locations in all parts of Birmingham, so the option of going electric is more viable for motorists. 

‘It’s great that we have been able to utilise the infrastructure from the Commonwealth Games in this way – and I know the points will be of great value in the years to come.” 

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, adds: ‘It’s vital that we provide motorists with the ability to make the transition to electric vehicles if we are to realise our goals to become a city with net zero carbon emissions. 

‘Our parks are one of Birmingham’s greatest assets, with Sutton Park an incredibly popular location for visitors, so I know the charging points here will be warmly welcomed. 

‘We said that being Proud Host City for Birmingham 2022 was about much more than just 11 days of fantastic sporting action. Projects like this show how there is a genuine and long-lasting legacy from our bold ambition in bidding for, and ultimately hosting, the Games.’ 

George Rathborne, Infrastructure Delivery Manager at ESB Ecars, says: ‘On behalf of ESB Energy, I am delighted to launch our new multi charging hub at Sutton Park which consists of four rapid and three fast EV chargers. 

‘This site forms part of a wider partnership with Birmingham City Council to provide a comprehensive public charging network for electric vehicle drivers throughout the city consisting of 197 fast and rapid chargers which equates to 394 charge points, over half of which are already operational. 

‘We know the huge benefit that EV infrastructure plays in helping build a sustainable future for cities. We look forward to our continued support of Birmingham and all of its citizens as they transition to low carbon motoring.’ 

In related news:

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New guide for energy efficient tech in Winchester’s historic buildings

Electric van experience completed in Nottingham and Derby


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