Being the UK’s largest independent forecourt operator, MFG used to be a place where only petrol and diesel vehicles could refuel... not anymore!
MFG EV Power offers high-speed, ultra-rapid charging alongside convenient retail and ‘food to go’... but what else is there to know?
We sat down with Ed, the EV Director for MFG EV Power, to discuss the future of ultra-rapid charging, what's next for MFG, and how the EV charging industry is changing.
Let’s get plugged in…
Let's chat MFG...
Give us a bit of background - how did MFG start?
We started our EV business in 2021. As the UK’s biggest forecourt operator with over 900 sites, we realised we had a great opportunity to be a key provider for on-the-go ultra-rapid charging. We previously had lots of third-party 50kW EV chargers, but thought we could roll chargers out a lot quicker if we did it ourselves! We’ve since shifted our focus to multiple bays of ultra-rapid chargers per site.
Where was the first MFG electric charging site? And how many electric charging sites does MFG now operate?
Our first site was built in Elephant & Castle, in central London. It has 7x150kW enabled chargers and was one of the first urban EV charging hubs. It’s now the busiest site inside the M25. We currently have nearly 40 hubs operational, and are looking to add more at a rate of 1 per week.
Are MFG charge points powered with renewable energy?
Yes – all of our sites are. That’s very important to us.
How has the industry changed since MFG first started, and how has MFG adapted and contributed to this?
The industry changes on an almost weekly basis. 2 big changes we’ve seen are in the car battery technology, and customers are becoming more discerning as they get more experience with public charging networks. In response, we’re making sure our chargers are some of the quickest out there, and are on-site facilities are second to none. We think we’re on to a winning formula - multiple bays, 150kW charging, great on site facilities and a welcoming environment to charge in.
When building a new charging site, what does MFG prioritise?
There are 3 things that are key to a good site. Number of chargers, speed of chargers, and on-site services.
We always look to build multiple bays at each site and we look to secure as much power from the grid as possible. That way we avoid having to load share between chargers and we can expand the number of chargers as EV adoption grows. We also like to make sure there is a food-to-go offering on-site – typically a Subway, Greggs or Costa, so you can grab a bite to eat whilst you charge.
What charging speeds do MFG currently offer, and what’s the future looking like for faster charging?
We offer 150kW across our network and we’re looking to introduce some 300kW chargers. We want to make charging your car as simple as filling up with petrol or diesel, that’s why we’re focusing on availability, reliability and quick charging speeds.
What is the vision for MFG in 5 years?
We want to be the biggest and best on-route network out there! We’re confident our plans will help us achieve that, and we’ve already committed to a £400m investment in EV charging hubs over the decade.
Why has MFG invested in electric charging?
The future of mobility is changing and so are forecourts. We want to help drive the transition to a cleaner future and we think that our unique network can really help enable this change. Our strategically located network is perfect for keeping motorists on the go.
What makes MFG different from other CPOs?
Locations – all of our EV chargers are located on forecourts, where drivers are used to re-fuelling their vehicles. Our hubs are also supported by strong retail offers and often have food-to-go brands on-site.
On top of that, we’re fully focused on providing a reliable and practical service for our EV customers. We build multiple chargers per site and we make sure those locations are safe, well-lit and manned.
Why are partnerships like MFG and Electric Universe important to the public charging infrastructure?
We’ve consistently aimed to make the charging experience straightforward and easy to use. Our partnership with Electric Universe enhances that by allowing drivers to charge using a format they’re already experienced with and approve of.
Name: Ed Chadwick-TIll
Job title: EV Director
How long have you worked at MFG?: 4 years
What is your dream electric vehicle?
I’d love Polestar to take the O2 concept car to production – but it wouldn’t be very good for the school run!
What’s the longest journey you’ve completed in an EV - and can you share the total mileage?
I do a lot of site visits, so the longest journey in a single day was London to Bristol to Birmingham and back to London. 329 miles in total, and no problem with range, or the charging!
Do you have an EV life hack to share with the EV community?
Choose a public charging site with access to facilities, like a toilet, café or somewhere to stretch your legs. It’s great to get out of the car and make use of the time when topping up.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone looking to buy their first EV?
Do your research!
And finally - an EV etiquette question - what would you say is the golden rule to using a public charger?
Only stay plugged in and in the charging bay for as long as needed – try to be considerate of other drivers when using public chargers.
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