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Oxford council takes on first EVs under £41m Energy Superhub project

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Oxford City Council has taken delivery of its first six electric vehicles as part of its Energy Superhub Oxford project, which showcases an integrated approach to decarbonising power, heat and transport across the city.

The local authority’s wholly-owned company ODS, which operates like a social enterprise, says a further 27 – including cars, a street sweeper, excavator and vans – are due to be delivered over the next three to four months, as it aims to electrify 25% of its 330-strong fleet by 2023.

The vehicles have been funded by ESO, a £41 million project which has received £10m from the Government’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge.

The project is led by Oxford City Council and Pivot Power – an EDF Renewables UK company. It also includes Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, Kensa Contracting and the University of Oxford.

Councillor Tom Hayes, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council said: “Oxford is continuing to show leadership in tackling the climate emergency.

“With this project we're encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and move to zero carbon.

“Energy Superhub Oxford gives Oxford strengths that no other city currently has: the world’s most powerful charging network and the world’s largest ever hybrid battery, and as a result we can accelerate our electric vehicle charging infrastructure for businesses and residents.

“I am looking forward to seeing this project accelerate Oxford towards zero.”

The project is also funding a try-before-you-buy scheme for hackney carriage drivers to trial electric vehicles.

Two electric LEVC taxis are already operating in the city, with two more expected on the road shortly.

From 2025, drivers will only be able to get a licence if they have a zero-emission capable cab.

The project also sees Pivot Power install a charging network delivering up to 25MW of power across the south of Oxford.

The network will connect public charging facilities at Redbridge Park & Ride directly to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network.

It also has capacity to expand with EV adoption and provide power for local businesses seeking to electrify their fleets.

One hundred chargepoints will be installed for council vehicle depots and public use, including 50 at Redbridge Park and ride.

The park and ride EV public Superhub aims to include 20 chargepoints ranging from 50kW+ to 150kW+, and 30 fast charge points (min 7kW).

Pivot Power is also developing the world’s largest hybrid energy storage system, comprising a 50MW lithium-ion battery and a 2MW vanadium redox flow battery.

ESO is also enabling Oxford residents to benefit from low carbon heating solutions.

The project is supporting the installation of Kensa Contracting’s low carbon heating solution which combines ground source heat pumps with smart controls and a time of use tariff to optimise heat production for cost and carbon savings.

The first 60 properties will be installed with affordable housing provider Stonewater in Blackbird Leys with work due to start as soon as possible.

ESO aims to roll out this technology to 300 properties in and around Oxford over the next two years.

Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

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