A RAFT of new electric vehicle charging facilities have been unveiled at Merry Hill shopping centre.

EV charging network Zest has invested in the centre to provide and operate the facilities which were unveiled by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, this week.

The installation - one of the largest in the West Midlands and the largest of any retail site in the UK - includes 32 twin socket charge points with 64 charging sockets in total.

A mix of fast (AC) and rapid (DC) chargers have been sited across main car parks at the shopping centre.

The 22kW fast chargers make up the majority of charge points and add around 90 miles in one hour, while 75kW rapid chargers fully charge most electric vehicles in well under an hour.

Charge point locations: P1 - 20 fast charging sockets P2 lower floor - 10 fast charging sockets P4 - 4 fast charging sockets P6 - 12 fast charging sockets Mayor Andy Street said: “We’re committed to rolling out thousands of EV chargers right across our region. We know that as EV adoption accelerates, having the right infrastructure in place in key locations will ensure a smooth and rapid transition.

“It’s great to see Merry Hill at the forefront of that change with 32 EV chargers going into their car parks. I’d like to express my thanks to Merry Hill and Zest for playing their part and very much hope it will encourage others to make their own contribution in the months and years ahead.”

Merry Hill centre manager Jonathan Poole said: “We are seeing an increase in demand for electric vehicle charging facilities as more drivers across the region make the switch to electric. We’re delighted to launch this improvement in our charging facilities.

“With more charging bays and a mix of chargers these new facilities are spread across our car parks giving visitors complete flexibility. We hope this allows even more of our visitors to confidently come to the centre using greener forms of travel.”

Another 12 fast charging sockets and six 75kW rapid charging sockets are planned for installation in the lead up to Christmas.

The installation of the charge points coincides with the re-opening of Merry Hill’s main multi-storey car park, opposite Odeon Cinema, following refurbishment.