New electric car charging points in Washington and Houghton-Le-Spring

Work has completed on more electric car charging stations in Sunderland

Back in April 2019, the UK’s first drive-through fast charging station with a charging capacity of up to 350 kW launched in Sunderland to help meet the demand for the growing numbers of electric vehicles in the North East.

Now work is complete on new rapid hubs located across the region including a site in the Speculation Place public car park in Concord, Washington.

Operated by Fastned, the rapid hub charging stations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include two 50 kW rapid chargers. The electricity is provided by a sustainable energy supplier through solar and other renewable sources.

The stations’ chargers are enabled for 350 kW charging, the fastest charging rate in the UK. The chargers have been uniquely designed to accommodate all fully-electric vehicles including the Nissan LEAF, which is built at the Sunderland plant, and Tesla models. At this Fastned station electric cars can add up to 200 km range in 15 minutes.

Another charging station is currently being installed at Station Road car park in Houghton-le-Spring. Sunderland City Council worked with the North East Combined Authority to secure funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicle to deliver these new 50kW chargers.

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “With Sunderland opening the UK’s first purpose-built high-power fast charging station and now the addition of two more, the city continues to lead the way in the electromobility industry.

“This is also great news for drivers with electric cars; these new charging hubs are making it easier for motorists who already drive electric vehicles and those who want to make the switch to a more sustainable form of transport.”

The rapid charger is designed to help support the conversion of taxis and private hire vehicles to electric but will also be initially available to the public. 

The new sites expand the availability of rapid charging within Sunderland, Washington and the Coalfields.

The City Council intends to convert its own diesel fleet to EVs over the next ten years and has already started using Nissan NV200 electric light commercial part of plans to be carbon free by 2030.

This adds to the council’s carbon reduction activities aiming to make the city a greener and cleaner environment and carbon neutral by 2030, twenty years ahead of the Government pledge of 2050.

Sunderland has been named as the best place in the UK to find electric vehicle charging stations in a UK-wide survey by green energy provider Tonik Energy. The council is already improving and increasing number of charging points for public and business use and is promoting step changes in the uptake of low emission vehicles - by setting more ambitious targets for charging points, as well as encouraging low emission fuels and electric cars.