Government-owned National Highways has announced plans to invest in Energy Storage Systems (ESS) – essentially giant battery packs – for service stations where the grid supply is not enough for rapid charging infrastructure.

The £11m project will fund the ESSs to store energy in quiet periods, then provide rapid high-power charging at busy times.

The initiative is part of the UK Government’s vision for the rapid charge point network in England which set the goal of around 6,000 high-powered chargers on the motorway network by 2035.

With petrol and diesel vehicles the largest carbon emission contributor on the roads, it is hoped easier access to increased numbers of high-powered charge points will increase driver confidence in electric vehicles on longer journeys, encouraging people to make the switch.

“These new Energy Storage Systems and the rapid chargers they supply will ensure that motorists are unlikely to be caught without somewhere to charge, which is a fantastic move for drivers and the environment accelerating the speed in which we transition to new electric vehicles,” said Malcolm Wilkinson, Head of Energy for National Highways.