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This project ended in Jan 2023 and is now closed.

Take Charge

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationApr 2020 - Jan 2023
Project expenditure£1.868M
Research areaTransition to low carbon future, New technologies and commercial evolution
  • September 2022

    A meeting was held with OZEV, DfT, Ofgem and Moto to discuss the project and lessons learnt. We have also prepared material to present at the CENEX LCV confe…


The project objectives are as follows:

  • Determine the optimal capacity for the new solution
  • Select an appropriate site to install the new solution
  • Produce a standardised design for large capacity, compact substations at MSAs
  • Manufacture, install and energise the new solution at the trial site
  • Measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of the new solution on the live network
  • Analyse the findings from the trial and collate results that can be shared and disseminated across the industry
  • Minimise disruption to Moto’s business operation during the trials


The development and roll-out of rapid EV charging is becoming increasingly important as EV manufacturers aim to minimise the time and disruption associated with customers charging their vehicles.

Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) have been identified as a specific location where rapid EV charging would need to be deployed on a large scale to allow simultaneous charging by multiple customers when undertaking long journeys. MSAs are currently supplied either directly via the local Low Voltage (LV) networks or via a distribution substation connected to the 11kV network. However, the deployment of rapid EV charging at MSAs is likely to require a power supply capacity of up to 20MVA to ensure that customers can simultaneously charge their vehicles at peak times.

Providing this level of capacity using traditional solutions would require the installation of a new 33/11kV substation with associated transformers, compound, switch room, switchgear and auxiliary equipment. The delivery of this solution would be expensive, time consuming and often far too complex for the needs of the customer.


The Motorway Services Take Charge project will specify, design, test and trial a brand new standardised package solution for delivering large capacity to MSAs in a far more cost and time effective manner when compared with the traditional solution, to enable rapid car and van EV charging.

Investigation and research on charging point data, vehicle movements and customer behaviours will be conducted to understand the optimal size, configuration and capability of the new package solution, which in turn will be used to produce a detailed functional specification.

The new package solution will be developed and built by Brush, a leading manufacturer in switchgear and transformers, and will be installed at a Moto MSA within one of our licence areas. It will be connected to the existing 33kV network within the vicinity of the selected MSA and deliver supplies to both existing and new charging infrastructure. The new solution will provide up to 20MVA of capacity and will be specifically tailored towards the requirements of the new rapid chargers and the need to integrate with future Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESSs) and Distributed Generation (DG).

The installation will be trialled over a six month period to evaluate the performance of the new solution, the benefits generated and the associated learning.