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Actavo installs EV chargers to help drive Oxford towards a zero-carbon city

Actavo, a leading international engineering solutions company, has partnered with innogy eMobility UK to help the city of Oxford electrify 25% of its fleet by 2023 as it aims to become a zero-carbon city. As part of the contract, Actavo has installed the city’s first 50kW (kilowatt) ultra-fast electric vehicle charger, a 25kW rapid charger and 31 fast vehicle chargers at the Oxford City Council and Oxford Direct Services (ODS) fleet depot.

The initiative is part of the Energy Superhub Oxford project, led by Oxford City Council and Pivot Power (an EDF Renewables UK company). The ultra-fast charging point, that has paved the way for the first electric heavy goods vehicle to start work in the city, is expected to record a saving of 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year for each vehicle using it. This is a key milestone and positions Oxford at the forefront of a green economic recovery and environmental transformation. 

The chargers gather data about the energy usage of each vehicle. ODS then extracts that data and integrates it into third party platforms for management reporting, to understand driving behaviour and identify potential efficiency improvements across its fleet. Smart technology in the innogy charging points means that the chargers can dynamically manage the load between priority and routine vehicles as well as the available energy on site.

In addition to the charger installations, Actavo carried out enabling works including civils – installation of ducting and bases for chargers and electrical works, installation of distribution panels and relevant containment.  In total, works at four commercial and industrial sites were completed. The EV chargers installed consisted of: a 50kW DC Ultra-Fast Charger; a 25kW DC Rapid Charger; and 31 AC Fast Chargers. Actavo also completed five domestic installations, with further domestic and commercial installations planned for Phase 2 of the project in 2021.

Liam Troy, Head of EV, Actavo Network & In-Home Solutions UK said: “Actavo is delighted to be part of this great initiative to help transform Oxford into a zero-carbon city. As part of this project, the team has delivered a high-quality solution with end-to-end installation management. It was great to partner with innogy eMobility on this initiative.  The 50kW charger has the capability of replenishing a vehicle battery by up to eighty percent capacity in as little as forty minutes and will prove to be a vital addition to ODS’s charging infrastructure.  These works were carried out within Covid-19 restrictions. To ensure the safety of our crew, there were a range of Covid-19 risk assessment method statements about how to operate and carry tasks out safely.”

Clare Collings, Head of Marketing & Communications, innogy eMobility commented: “This contract award and its success was due largely to our partnership with Actavo. During the bid presentations, we were able to give the client comfort that the project delivery was thoroughly planned with the correct focus on quality. Actavo’s experience of operating within multiple utility and power sectors added value and contributed to its project management and delivery teams handing over a project which met the client’s expectations, on time and with minimal impact to the client’s operation. Actavo mapped out the risks and put a lot of mitigation in place so operations went very smoothly.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford,  Oxford City Counciladded: “With the introduction of the Zero Emission Zone Pilot later this year, and the City Council moving towards becoming a zero carbon council by 2030, part of our journey involves converting our fleet to at least 25% electric within the next few years. The Energy Superhub Oxford project is key in helping us to achieve this vision, and the installation of the rapid chargers is a major step forward. The installations were carried out with Actavo and the chargers’ smart technology will help to achieve smarter ways of working which should benefit the City Council as a whole. Every vehicle powered by electricity helps to reduce the council’s emissions and address our climate breakdown and air pollution problem.”

Owain Pearce, Transport Manager at ODS, said: “This a major step forward for ODS in our plans to help the Council pursue a zero carbon Oxford. In addition to our goal of converting 25% of our fleet to electric by 2023, we’ve undertaken a number of other environmental and EV-related initiatives in recent years and are well on our way to achieving a smarter, cleaner and greener Oxford. The implementation of the new chargers reflects ODS’s ‘doing good’ mindset, by which we carefully consider both our teams, and the wider community, in everything we do. We thank Actavo for all their hard work on the installations, as well as our dedicated employees who have worked tirelessly, throughout the pandemic, to ensure projects like this one could go ahead without a hitch.”

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