Maxol has opened the first truly rapid electric car chargers in Northern Ireland, or at least the first truly rapid chargers open to the public. Up till now, aside from some high-speed chargers at Porsche Belfast, the only 'fast' chargers available to those in the North have been (really quite slow by modern standards) 50kW units.
Holywood, County Down
That's all changed now, thanks to Maxol, which has opened up a six-car charging bay at its refurbished Kinnegar Service Station in Holywood Co. Down, about a ten-minute drive from the city centre of Belfast.
The six-car bay has a single 200kW charger, which can charge one vehicle at a time, plus two 150kW chargers, which can cope with two vehicles each (although each car will only receive 75kW if both sides of the charger are in use). There's a final 50kW charger as well.
Maxol claims that the chargers are fed with renewable electricity, part of a plan to reduce the renovated petrol station's overall emissions by 40 per cent. Features include solar panels to reduce the site's electrical import requirements, low-energy CO2 refrigeration systems, heat pump technology to reduce heating loads, and an energy management system to monitor and control the overall energy usage on the site.
Maxol says that as well as the new EV chargers, Kinnegar will also offer its Maxol Premium fuel, a 100 per cent carbon offset fuel option with fewer pollutants.
Maxol also says that it's offering the best-priced charging in the North. For each charger, there's an initial parking charge of 50p, and then you pay by the kWh. For the 50kW charger, that's 55p per kWh; for the 150kW chargers, it's 58p per kWh; and for the 200kW charger, it's 65p per kWh. There are 'overstay' fees, though - after 25 minutes, the 200kWh charger will start adding on 50p for each additional minute, while the 150kW charger will cost you that after 35 minutes of charging. The 50kW charger costs 50p/minute extra after 45 minutes.
Brian Donaldson, Chief Executive of The Maxol Group, said: "This is a landmark moment for Maxol and for Northern Ireland. Maxol has delivered the first dedicated Ultra Rapid EV charging hub in Northern Ireland - to build upon the charging points we already have in place at Townparks in Antrim, at Mallusk in Belfast and later this month we will unveil another charge point at our newly refurbished site at Edenderry.
"Maxol continues to invest in and develop the right infrastructure across our service station network to support the move to electric. At all these developments we worked closely with the team in NI Electric Networks to provide the necessary grid capacity to power the chargers and additional requirements for each location.
"More importantly for our customers, Kinnegar has been developed to offer the ultimate in convenience. While customers charge their car, they can visit the brand new EuroSpar with extensive range, grab a Barista Bar coffee or a bite to eat at the new Delish Hot Food Bar or stock up on cupboard essentials for all their daily needs. We are a hub in every sense - meeting the needs of our local community, right here on their doorstep. This site marks an important step on our journey towards being a more sustainable business. The technologies and innovations we have used here are creating a blueprint that we will apply across our network in larger type locations to deliver a positive change for our customers, the environment, and our industry and that is a very exciting journey to be on."
Mark McCammond, Retail Director of Henderson Retail, Licensee for Maxol, said: "The completion of the Kinnegar site brings a premium offering for the local area with our exclusive Delish food to go brand serving the high level of passing trade, complemented by bays of fresh, locally sourced products and our own brand ranges that can be picked up for tonight's tea. This is a one-stop-shop and supermarket experience for the local community that has been built with their needs as a top priority."