Manchester’s first EV charging ‘Oasis’ gets green light

Manchester City Council has given the green light to electric vehicle charging network Be.EV to build Manchester’s first large-scale green charging ‘Oasis’ for EVs.
Manchester’s first EV charging ‘Oasis’ gets green light
Reliance Street visualisation. Courtesy of Be.Ev.

A milestone project in the council’s mission to expand public charging across the county, Be.EV’s plan will transform an old former petrol station site on the corner of Reliance Street and Oldham Road into a futuristic green forecourt and community hub.

The site will include commercial space for local businesses and provide ultra-rapid charging for 16 electric vehicles at any time, including accessible and van-suitable spaces, as well as secure charging for electric bicycles.

The site’s 16 ultra-rapid chargers will charge a typical EV in as little as ten minutes, compared to 4-6 hours on a 7kW fast charger.

Be.EV maintains the largest network of public EV chargers in Greater Manchester and Reliance Street marks the company’s first new generation ‘Oasis’ project, with further locations planned across the country.

Trees and biodiversity will form an integral part of the site’s design. A wildflower garden will form a natural boundary along one side of the site. Other planted areas throughout will include herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses. The site has committed to a “net-biodiversity uplift”, to bring nature back into the area.

Solar panels will be included to further improve the carbon footprint of the development, by providing clean-energy for the operation of the commercial space. The retail building and forecourt roof will feature a biodiverse planting of native British species, specifically selected for the region.

Mature trees will surround the charging ring and dominate the design, bringing with them further animal & birdlife to the site.

The chargers will be powered by renewable energy from Octopus Energy, ensuring the move to a totally green transport system is achieved.

Works at the Reliance Street site will be undertaken by Be.EV and will include significant groundworks to remove contamination from the former petrol station. This will be replaced by permeable surfaces that will collect rainwater to be repurposed to water the planted areas and service the commercial space.

Anyone will be able to use the chargers but Be.EV members will be able to access a discounted rate across the company’s rapidly growing network.

“We’re delighted to launch works for our very first charging Oasis on Reliance Street” said Be.EV CEO Asif Ghafoor. “Our plan for Reliance Street is truly innovative and reflects Be.EV’s ambition to lead the way in reimagining public infrastructure - creating great charging experiences for today and for the future. We worked with the talented team at Architect That to design a site that is not only functional but delivers regeneration in the local area, looks fantastic, and responds to the needs of the local community as it offers so much more than just charging. These sites will absorb carbon and clean the air whilst providing EV drivers with a calm, green environment to relax in while they’re charging. The site is also designed to maximise the number of charging bays to accelerate equitable access to the future of electric vehicles. It’s a real privilege to continue our partnership with Manchester City Council with this cutting-edge project. The more local authorities who follow their example, the more clean and sustainable our communities will become.”

Executive Member for Environment and Transport for Manchester City Council, Cllr Tracey Rawlins, added that as Manchester continues our journey to become a net zero carbon city by 2038, initiatives such as this that increase access to handy charge stations across the city are important to support drivers to make a switch - ensuring electric vehicles are a viable option.  

“This is one element of a wide range of sustainable transport options in Manchester that are making it easier than ever for our residents to move away from conventional cars” said Cllr Tracey Rawlins. “This includes significant investment in active travel across the city, alongside new walking and cycling routes in the city centre, and a move towards a fully integrated public transport system. Together they underpin our commitment to increasing the number of people who choose to travel by a sustainable means.”

The UK announced its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, three years ago. The sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe will continue to be sold until 2035.

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