"We need to do all we can to improve the infrastructure for electric vehicles for environmental reasons and because people want the assurance that they can easily charge their vehicle"
Peter Bowden, Partner, Knight Frank
The North East is being targeted by an electric vehicle (EV) charging hub developer after the region saw a sharp rise in EV ownership.
Osprey is actively searching for ‘premium sites’ across the region, hoping to install thousands of rapid charging points close to major motorway and A-roads in urban and edge-of-town locations.
The move is encouraging news for drivers who, research shows, see a lack of charging points as a barrier to purchasing an electric car.
Knight Frank has been appointed to source locations and recent research by the firm shows the North East saw a substantial 1049% increase in EV registrations over the past nine years - with 5,555 electric vehicles registered in 2020 – up from just 349 in 2011.
The first North East sites to benefit from Osprey charge hubs are Tyneview Retail Park in Prudhoe; Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick; and Northumberland Retail Park in North Tyneside – all of which are owned by Northumberland Estates. 50kW chargers were installed at the shopping zones to meet increasing demand from local and visiting low-emission drivers.
The EV points deliver around 80 miles of charge in 30 minutes (depending on car and battery), which matches the dwell times of the retail parks where tenants collectively include M&S, Aldi, B&M, Starbucks and McDonalds.
Backed by investment from Cube Infrastructure and Investec, Osprey offers fully funded and managed charging stations supplied with 100% renewable energy.
Peter Bowden, head of the Newcastle office at Knight Frank, said: “We are excited to be working with Osprey to source and acquire rapid EV charging sites. We need to do all we can to improve the infrastructure for electric vehicles for environmental reasons and because people want the assurance that they can easily charge their vehicle at work or at the shops, as well as at home.
"This opportunity allows landlords and developers to advance their own Net Zero aspirations at no cost, with Osprey developing and managing the charging points, typically on a 20+year lease. The Osprey solution is market-leading and we look forward to supporting them in the expansion of their charging network.”
Osprey chargers accept contactless bank cards as standard and require no membership or account.
Anthony Cape, Asset Manager, Northumberland Estates said: “Alongside other measures such as renewable energy opportunities and large scale tree planting; our company looks at opportunities to include EV charging points at our developments, beyond the minimum planning requirements.”
According to Knight Frank research into the rising demand for electric vehicles, the number of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) registered across the UK, the vast majority of which are Electric Vehicles (EVs), rose by 52% during 2020, up from 245,000 in Q3 2019 to 373,000 in Q3 2020.