The car park, Papilio3, will help expand the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure ahead of the government’s proposed ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles in 2030.
The new solar panel charging facility will also enable those without the means to charge EV vehicles at home to make the move to a more sustainable form of driving.
Tim Evans, 3ti founder and CEO, said: “Overnight charging at home generally provides the most cost effective, carbon efficient, sustainable charging, but in the UK, around 50% of households will not be able to do this.
“If you live in a flat, a tower block, a rented house, in temporary accommodation or even in a £10m terraced town house in Chelsea, you’re probably not going to be able to charge an EV at home.
“We believe that solar and battery boosted destination and workplace charging will become the best EV charging solution for drivers, irrespective of the type of home they live in. By utilising dwell times of several hours, when cars are parked at work or when the driver is visiting a shopping or leisure venue, for example, 3ti’s system ensures that EVs can achieve a level of charge that covers day to day driving needs and does it in the most low-carbon way,” he said.
The unit is built around a recycled shipping container and can support up to 12 fast EV charging devices. The solar and battery-boosted charging system optimises the speed of charge and reduces the carbon intensity of electricity used.
Papilio3 is fitted with three modular canopies that support 36 solar panels and has battery storage capacity of up to 250 kWh. Each unit offers sheltered, illuminated, and secure parking, and supports seven, 11 and 22 kW.
It integrates three technologies: solar photovoltaic electricity generation, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and EV charge points. This combination offers the ability to use grid energy, solar power, and battery storage to optimise the speed and carbon intensity of EV charging. Onsite renewable energy generation from solar panels also reduces energy costs and gives businesses greater control over energy supply.
Mark Potter, 3ti Chief Technical Officer, said the capability to charge at one’s destination and workplace is “much more sustainable” at a “better value”, and “much more convenient”.
“The three technologies integrated in Papilio3 enable the system to store and use the cleanest, lowest cost energy from its own solar panels and the grid supply. That means we can reduce the demand on peak hours grid energy without compromising EV charging speed,” he added.
The widespread use of Solar Car Parks will decarbonise the UK’s transport sector faster, as underutilised spaces would be transformed into “renewable energy generating assets,” Mr Evans said.
He added that this would enable businesses to lower their energy costs while also indicating their commitment to tackling climate, to customers.
“Papilio3 isn’t just about providing the UK with a broader range of EV charge points,” Mr Evans said. “It also focuses on the capture and management of renewable energy, as a way of reducing the country’s draw on carbon-intensive energy for EV charging at peak times.”
The Surrey Research Park in Guildford was chosen as the preferred location for the launch because of its client base and ties to companies working on sustainability at the University of Surrey.
Grant Bourhill, Chief Executive Officer at Surrey Research Park, commented:
“The University of Surrey and Surrey Research Park have a long history of working with industry to drive innovation.
“We pride ourselves on creating an environment that supports the entrepreneurial community to develop and grow. The roll out of Papilio3 reflects our commitment to sustainability in addition to testing new innovation and supporting business growth. The University of Surrey has recently improved its position to 55th in the global sustainability rankings of over 1400 institutions, and the work with 3ti is yet another example of our sustainability commitment.”
Papilio3 is available from 3ti on a rental contract and therefore requires no capital investment by customers.