Following the growth in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and the reopening of non-essential retail following COVID-19, the retail giant Metrocentre wished to encourage sustainable travel to the centre. As part of their strategy, they approached Elmtronics to review their existing EV charge points.
Metrocentre is one of the largest indoor shopping centres in the UK, attracting over 20 million visitors a year. The 2,000,000 sq foot complex is conveniently placed just off the A1 in Gateshead and boasts over 300 famous high street stores across its five coloured malls.
Metrocentre was one of the first destinations in the North East to provide electric vehicle charging for their visitors with charge points on-site since 2012. As technology has improved, the shopping centre wished to upgrade their outdated equipment which no longer provided a reliable service to visitors.
Replacing their legacy chargers with brand new equipment, alongside a comprehensive maintenance package, ensures a dependable charging infrastructure for shoppers.
Following an investigation of their current charge points, the solution was to fully replace the existing infrastructure to offer future-proofed charging to drivers. We worked with Metrocentre to install brand new 7kW and 22kW dual chargers in the yellow and green car parks of the destination.
With visitors spending an average of two hours in the shopping centre, they can charge with confidence, returning to their car with vital miles added to their range. Each charger features dynamic load balancing technology ensuring that the power is distributed evenly into each EV without the need for expensive power upgrades to the car parks.
The charge points are connected to Hubsta, our intelligent charging network, providing drivers with the ability to roam with various other networks and allowing Metrocentre to review usage statistics and monitor their use in real-time. The features will provide valuable data to understand increasing demand which will help inform their future roll-out.
“The installation of the new charge points will help us future-proof the provision of charging units at the centre. As electric car ownership increases, we must continue to invest in our EV infrastructure to meet demand.
We are currently in negotiations to significantly increase the provision of charge points and will announce details of our new solar charging project in the coming months. These projects are an integral part of our long-term strategy for the centre, which focuses on sustainability and our place in the community.” – Gavin Prior, Metrocentre Centre Director.
To ensure minimal downtime and disruption with their chargers, Metrocentre has taken out a service level agreement (SLA) with Elmtronics. The deal will cover annual services on their chargers and offer vital support for the Metrocentre should they face any issues with their chargers.
“We are proud to be working with one of the largest retail centres in the UK, offering the centre a long-term solution to ensure that the growing number of EV drivers will be able to charge with confidence whilst visiting the centre.
“As the 2030 new petrol and diesel ban is approaching, we are working with many brands to build on the UK’s charging infrastructure, supporting sustainable drivers on the road. We look forward to continuing to work with Metrocentre and like-minded centres to pave the way for a carbon-neutral future.” – Dan Martin, Elmtronics CEO
Drivers wishing to access the posts can download the Hubsta app or use one of the access cards of the network’s roaming partners which includes Octopus Energy’s Electric Juice and Ionity.