Matt Allen

Chief Executive Officer, Pivot Power


We interviewed Matt Allen to get his opinion on the development of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in the UK. Matt is Chief Executive Officer of Pivot Power.

Last year saw the launch of a pioneering £41m project, Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) – a collaboration between Oxford City Council, Pivot Power (an EDF Renewables UK company), Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems (previously redT energy), Kensa Contracting, and the University of Oxford – which will install the world’s largest hybrid battery system (50MW) and private wire network to support the acceleration of Oxford’s electric vehicle charging capacity and fleets, and provide up to 300 properties in and around Oxford with innovative ground-source heat pumps.

ESO will deliver a 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year saving by 2021, rising to 25,000 tonnes per year by 2032. Oxford City Council has been awarded £1,615,169 for its role in the project from the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK as part of a successful £10.26m bid for the Oxford element of the overall £41m project. The rest of the funding is coming from the other partners in the project. 

EV Charging Infrastructure Team: Can you describe what your company does in EV charging market space and who your customers are?

Matt Allen:

Transitioning to EVs requires massive volumes of power in specific places. Today’s energy infrastructure can’t deliver this intensity of power reliably and affordably at scale. Pivot Power (an EDF Renewables UK company) is creating high-volume power connections at targeted locations across the UK, which will provide flexible, scalable capacity for mass-scale rapid EV charging.

This smart power infrastructure will provide multiple megawatts of power to help local authorities and businesses electrify their fleets and enable the provision of public ‘superhubs’ where drivers can quickly and easily charge their cars on the go. Customers include local councils, bus operators, taxi firms, last-mile delivery companies and motorway service stations.

EV Charging Infrastructure Team: Can you give us an overview of one of your latest projects?

Matt Allen:

Pivot Power is lead partner in a game-changing project called Energy Superhub Oxford, which is pioneering an integrated approach to decarbonising transport, power and heat to accelerate Oxford’s journey to zero carbon.

It will showcase a powerful network of rapid EV charging, hybrid battery energy storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management, providing a model for cities around the world to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality.

ESO is one of four demonstrator projects part-funded by the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund under its “Prospering from the Energy Revolution” (PFER) programme. The 3-year project draws on the technology and expertise of six consortium partners comprising Oxford City Council, Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, Kensa Contracting and the University of Oxford.

Highlights include:

               Electrifying 10% of Oxford City Council’s 330 vehicle fleet

               Creating the world’s most powerful EV charging network, delivering up to 25MW of power for mass-scale, rapid EV charging via an 8km private wire network

               Installing 100 charge points across the city, including a 50-charge point public ‘Superhub’ at Redbridge Park & Ride.

               Developing the world’s largest hybrid battery, combining a 50MW lithium-ion battery and a 2MW vanadium flow machine.

From an EV charging perspective what’s unique is we are connecting directly to National Grid’s high voltage transmission network and creating a new private wire network, which means we leapfrog capacity constraints on the local network. The hybrid battery shares the connection with the private wire and helps to pay for the infrastructure, by trading energy and providing real-time balancing services to National Grid.

EV Charging Infrastructure Team: How do you see your company’s role evolve in 2020-2021 and what are the key market targets for you in 2021?

Matt Allen:

As part of Pivot Power’s mission to “Accelerate the UK’s Transition to a Clean, Electric Future”, we plan to develop 40 sites across the UK, where we will combine up to 2GW of energy storage with high volume power connections for EV charging.

Our first two projects in Oxford and Kent are underway, and in 2021 we will begin work on additional sites in the portfolio providing similar local and national benefits to the aforementioned.

EV Charging Infrastructure Team: What is your advice to your future customers?

Matt Allen:

The great news is that already 78% of organisations in the UK are planning to electrify up to half of their fleets over the coming years. But lots of businesses we have spoken to are surprised by the amount of power needed to charge EVs quickly and at scale. I would stress the importance of thinking about future power requirements for expansion needed for the rest of the fleet portfolio, and in addition encourage businesses to explore different options at their disposal in the market.

Matt will be speaking about challenges and lessons learnt from the implementation of Oxford City Superhub project and will explore how we can create the low-carbon infrastructure the UK needs to accelerate EV adoption and help more businesses and individuals make the switch to cleaner transport today at our EV Charging Infrastructure, AC, DC, V1G, V2G Stakeholder Focus Day on 9 October. Matt is happy to have further conversations with his peers. 

If you would like us to pass your message to Matt prior to Focus Day please contact Jane Huggins on who will be able to facilitate your communication with him.