Zest, one of the UK’s fastest growing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging operators, has announced the launch of 56 EV charging sockets at Metrocentre, the country’s second largest retail and leisure destination. The installation marks the second time Zest has worked with Sovereign Centros, following the opening of 64 charging sockets at Merry Hill in 2022.

Zest is making a significant investment of around half a million pounds at Metrocentre, providing and installing the new facilities at the destination, and managing their long-term operation.

Zest chargers

Abundant charge points make it easier for EV drivers when they visit, and the newly unveiled sockets represent one of the largest EV charging facilities in the North East. The EV charge points are spread across three of the centre’s car parks, with the majority being fast chargers which top-up cars in a couple of hours, specifically chosen to be in-line with the average dwell time at Metrocentre. There are also rapid chargers for on-the-go visitors who need a faster getaway.

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Robin Heap, CEO of Zest, said: “In the future we’ll just charge where we park, as part of our normal routine. Retail and leisure destinations that provide the right EV facilities first, as new habits are being formed, are those that will thrive in the migration to EV. We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Sovereign Centros, working with them again to provide these new facilities and to support their vision for Metrocentre’s sustainable future.”

According to research conducted by CACI, 68% of consumers who intend to own an EV will visit retailers and businesses more frequently if they provide the right charging facilities. EV sales in the North East increased by 72% in 2022, and a third of people in the UK now intend to make an EV their next car. The new facilities, provided and installed by Zest, create a significant opportunity for destinations like Metrocentre to enhance their visitor experience and increase footfall and spend.

Graeme Jones, Director at Sovereign Centros, commented: “We are committed to pushing for a more sustainable future across all our destinations, and ensuring accessibility to EV charging is a key part of this. Having worked with Zest on other projects, we saw them as the perfect partner to deliver this for Metrocentre, ultimately helping to deliver our sustainable vision, and removing one of the main barriers to the EV switch for drivers across the North East.”

Zest provides and operates EV charging infrastructure for commercial real estate and local authorities across the UK. Its projects are backed by the Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF). It means Zest can invest in larger projects that anticipate future demand, act quickly to deliver essential EV infrastructure and make a tangible contribution to net zero.