MFG, the market leading independent forecourt operator with over 900 sites across Great Britain, is pleased to announce its electric vehicle (“EV”) investment plans. Through this planned investment MFG will be uniquely positioned to lead the forecourt sector in transitioning to a cleaner future, providing a significant boost to the Government’s decarbonisation and sustainability agenda and emissions target of being net zero by 2050.
Led by an entrepreneurial management team, MFG has grown rapidly over the last decade from under 50 forecourts to 918 today. These sites span the width and breadth of Great Britain, forming a vital part of UK infrastructure. All sites have remained fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to keep goods moving as well as providing essential grocery retail to local communities.
- In the next decade, MFG plans to invest c.£400 million in Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers (“Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers”) across its UK network
- MFG will install a total of c.3,000 Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers at c.500 sites by the end of 2030
- By 2035, MFG plans to complete its EV roll out to all suitable remaining locations in its network
- Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV Chargers can add 100 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes. MFG has the capability to increase charging speeds to 350kW as the battery technology becomes more widely available. This technology will result in similar refuelling times to fossil fuels
- By developing Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350 kW EV Charging hubs in strategic locations across the UK, MFG believes it is uniquely placed to alleviate range anxiety and increase driver’s confidence in electricity as a fuel source, thereby improving EV adoption
- MFG’s planned investment in EV charging will be made hand-in-hand with a broader upgrade programme, continuously upgrading its nationwide network of industry-leading travel retail destinations (with a broad grocery convenience offer, strong food-to-go brand partnerships, on-line delivery lockers and business break areas / facilities)
Battery electric vehicles accounted for 6.6% of all new car registrations in the UK in 2020, up from 1.6% in 2019. To meet Government targets, 100% of new registrations must be battery electric by 2035.
To achieve full electrification, significant private and public infrastructure investment will be required.
While new EV registrations are rising dramatically, there are c. 38m licenced combustion engine vehicles on UK roads today. These vehicles will take decades to churn out of the car parc (the total stock of UK licenced vehicles) and will continue to require fossil fuel infrastructure as the parc transitions.
On Route Charging
EV motorists can charge in multiple different settings – at home, on-street, at work, in car parks or on route. Each of these charging segments will be critical to EV adoption and will give drivers confidence that they can get to and from their destination, alleviating drivers’ concerns over range anxiety, which are well documented.
On route charging will be particularly important infrastructure for those drivers who do not have access to ‘at home’ charging. In England, over 60% of dwellings in cities and urban areas do not have garages or other off-road parking provisions, and so must rely on electricity from publicly accessible networks.
MFG has installed EV chargers at 108 of its sites through third parties. This is the highest rollout in the independent forecourt sector. Alongside this existing network, MFG will self-fund, build, and operate its own EV charging hubs, thereby becoming a truly national charge point operator.
MFG hubs will consist of between four and eight Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV Chargers per site. 150kW chargers can add 100 miles range in approximately 10 minutes, subject to the charging capability of individual car batteries. These will be augmented with 350 kW chargers as vehicle battery technology improves to maintain the fastest charging times across the MFG network. While these charging speeds are beyond the capability of most EV models currently on the market, MFG is investing ahead of the curve to build driver’s confidence in electricity as a fuel source and supporting the Government’s decarbonisation and sustainability agenda and emissions target of being net zero by 2050.
In 2021, MFG will build EV charging hubs at an additional 40 sites, offering over 200 Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV Chargers. The initial focus will be on major trunk roads and urban areas. In London alone, MFG’s planned roll-out will treble the current number of open network Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV Chargers.
From 2022 onwards, MFG plans to build at least 50 additional EV charging hubs per year. A significant number of these will be on the strategic road network, thereby materially helping Government to hit the targets it has laid out.
MFG is working with some of the world’s leading suppliers to deliver electric power to its forecourts and will continue to invest significant capital in its EV charging capabilities as global EV technology improves. As and when car battery technology allows, MFG intends to upgrade a significant number of Ultra-Rapid 150kW EV Chargers to even more powerful 350kW chargers, which closely match the time taken for a conventional fossil fuel fill-up.
As MFG further establishes itself as a provider of essential infrastructure to enable the UK’s mobility revolution on the strategic road network, it intends to actively target other charging segments and expand its EV offering, either organically or through acquisition.
Dual Fuel Strategy
Over the coming decades, MFG will operate a dual fuel strategy. It will continue to provide existing fossil fuel infrastructure whilst rolling out EV charging hubs while continuously upgrading its nationwide network of industry-leading travel retail destinations.
Given the slow churn of the car parc – on average, cars are 14 years old at point of scrappage – millions of motorists will require fossil fuels long after the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel cars. MFG is committed to supporting these motorists by providing necessary fossil fuel infrastructure, while enabling their transition to clean fuels.
Industry Leading Retail Offering
MFG is arguably the fifth largest retailer by number of stores in the UK, mostly in high density urban areas. These stores often act as the local convenience store and are vital to communities.
Building on this footprint, and alongside its ambitious EV roll out, MFG also plans to invest over £50m in 2021 to improve its retail, food to go, and valeting offer to the consumer. This investment will continue in the years ahead across its UK wide network.
MFG will also consolidate its position as one of the largest drop box and home delivery locations for major logistics companies such as Amazon, InPost, and ByBox. Through these partnerships MFG can help provide crucial last mile delivery in an increasingly on-line retail environment.
William Bannister, CEO, MFG, said:
“Our planned £400 million investment in this vital infrastructure will help keep UK motorists on the move, and our essential retail will support local communities and the economy. I am looking forward to engaging with Government to ensure this investment best meets the national EV infrastructure requirement to help us all make a contribution to ensuring Britain meets its net zero target by 2050.”