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Keele Services Superchargers, Northbound?

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by mrkisskiss, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. mrkisskiss

    mrkisskiss Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    London
    Does anyone know when/if the superchargers on the Northbound stretch will reopen at some point? Currently, they have them on the southbound side, but only a Chademo on the northbound?

    I read that they used to exist, but were taken away due to some kind of lawsuit with Ecotricity, which is all settled now? It'd be great to get them back on the North side - it'd really help with those trips from London to Manchester... I'm aware that you can use the secret access road to cross the bridge, but I always feel as if I'm about to get arrested when I do that!

    Any information appreciated!
     
  2. arg

    arg Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    835
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    No. They never existed on the Northbound side. Tesla originally (briefly) provided the gate access code to let you cross officially using the service road from southbound to northbound and vice versa, hence allowing use of the southbound facility when traveling northbound. Probably somebody in officaldom decided this was a bad idea and it was withdrawn. Some people still use the service road, having acquired the code unofficially.

    There was a report that someone had met a Tesla survey team planning construction for the Northbound side; it may be that was true but getting sufficient power to that site has taken this long to achieve, or was too expensive, or the report was just plain wrong/mistaken. I have not heard any recent news about Keele.

    The Ecotricity dispute is an entirely different matter. Ecotricity had been operating for some while before Tesla began the supercharger buildout. Initially, Tesla and Ecotricity were cooperating to construct Superchargers alongside Ecotricity's existing installations, and two sites had been partially constructed when the dispute blew up (allegedly, Tesla were trying to deal directly with the site owners which Ecotricity viewed as going "behind their back"). It appears that Ecotricity had negotiated exclusive contracts with the various owning groups, and therefore Tesla were not able to build any superchargers at motorway service areas until the dispute was settled - the half-built sites sat unchanged for over a year. A confidential out-of-court settlement was eventually reached. Speculation is that an amount of money changed hands and the exclusivity was waived from Ecotricity's point of view, but of course constructing a supercharger still required that an acceptable contract could be negotiated between Tesla and the site owner. Welcome Break have been enthusiastic (the MD drives a Model S), and as soon as the dispute was settled the first few sites were built within weeks. Other owning groups (Moto etc.) were reportedly less enthusiastic. It remains to be seen whether the reports of supercharger construction at Grantham are true - if so, they've now cracked Moto as well.
     
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