Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
Nissan is the lead partner in the Rapid Charge Network consortium and provides the main private sector financial contribution to the project.
“Nissan is delighted to be leading this important initiative. The UK’s Rapid Charge Network will provide a vital sense of security for all EV drivers, not just those using the award-winning Nissan LEAF, as well as helping to promote the advantages of zero emission mobility to others,” said Olivier Paturet, General Manager Zero Emission Strategy—Corporate Planning.
The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world. The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. With BMW i, the BMW Group is pursuing a holistic approach: BMW i is redefining personal mobility through visionary, purpose-built vehicle concepts with inspiring design, a focus on sustainability throughout the entire value chain and a full range of complementary mobility services.
The all-electric BMW i3, launched in 2013, is a locally emission-free car that is sustainably designed throughout. The BMW i8, a highly progressive plug-in hybrid sports car, will be introduced in 2014. While electric driving addresses many of the environmental challenges specific to urban environments, the opportunity to charge electric cars quickly using a reliable infrastructure network will add further to their practicality and appeal. The RCN project provides a perfect platform, in collaboration with other manufacturers, to test and develop such a network.
ESB ecars is a business unit within ESB, the leading Irish utility company, which is responsible for the roll out and operation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and supporting IT/communications systems in Ireland. A comprehensive network of domestic, commercial and public charge points is currently being installed nationwide and the organisation is involved in a range of EU projects.
ESB ecars will take the lead on providing all the Rapid Charge Network sites in Ireland as well as overseeing the installation, operation and maintenance of each of the locations. All Ireland rapid charge points will be accessed through the existing ESB ecars scheme and each of the Irish points will be interoperable with the UK network.
For Renault, the electric vehicle is a real long-term solution to today’s environmental and noise pollution issues in cities. Technological innovations now make it possible to mass market an electric vehicle at reasonable cost. Renault now offers a full range of electric vehicles including the Kangoo Z.E., the family sedan Fluence Z.E, the Twizy, a tandem-type of urban vehicle and the supermini ZOE.
As a member of the Rapid Charge Network programme, Renault will particpate by supporting the inclusion of the Renault Charger Technology into the multi-standard rapid charge point.
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With the launch of the all-electric Volkswagen e-up! in the UK at the end of 2013, Volkswagen are a partner in the Rapid Charge Network project.
Volkswagen will take responsibility for the development of the BMW and Volkswagen charger technology upgrade kit overseeing the technical specification and charging compatibility tests between the multi-standard rapid charger and the electric vehicle models.
The Transport Operations Research Group (TORG) at Newcastle University is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in transport research and postgraduate teaching.
Its core areas of expertise include transport and the environment; public transport systems; demand responsive transport travel behaviour and attitudinal modelling; automatic debiting and road-user charging; highway design; network and environmental modelling; transport economics; and transport telematics.
The Newcastle University research team will be responsible for analysing the data agenerated by the Rapid Charge Network project around driver behaviour and charging patterns to inform future transport infrastructure and best practice for the rest of Europe.
Zero Carbon Futures is a not-for-profit company based in North East England which specialises in the new technologies surrounding low carbon vehicles. The company specialises in the delivery of low carbon technology demonstration projects, including the Plugged in Places programme for North East England, My Electric Avenue and major national Rapid Charger programmes across the UK.
Zero Carbon Futures wrote the successful application for TEN-T funding and is now performing the Project Management function for the Rapid Charge Network project, on behalf of the five partners. As EV drivers ourselves, the team believe that drivers value Rapid Charging facilities at easily accessible locations as they provide a vital sense of security and alleviate range anxiety. This project will build on our UK infrastructure experience and investigate the link to other networks across Europe, as well as continuing to promote the advantages of zero emission mobility.
The Rapid Charge Network is supported by major industry partners, including: