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Case Study – Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust wanted to install reliable and future-proofed EV charging infrastructure to support their EV fleet.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust provides hospital and community services to a population of over 650,000. Employing 7,000 people, they are one of the largest integrated care providers in England.

The Background

NHS England is committed to achieving net carbon by 2040. With the collective NHS fleet mileage amounting to over ten billion miles a year, one of its main objectives is to have a full zero-emission vehicle fleet by 2032.

To support this ambition, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust wanted to install reliable and future-proofed EV charging infrastructure to support their EV fleet and to encourage more staff to drive electric vehicles. 

The Trust also required back-office software to monitor usage, providing them with valuable data to support their future electrification plans.

“The NHS is responsible for around 5% of UK emissions so it is essential we play our part in reducing this. We’re committed to using and promoting the use of electric vehicles and as our fleet vehicles become due for renewal we are replacing them with electric.” 

Carol Birch, Associate Facilities Director, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

The Solution

Mer (formerly Elmtronics) approached the project with full site surveys at Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham. 

The recommendation based on their current EV fleet and employee demand was to install 28 chargers. At Darlington Memorial Hospital, where the fleet head office is based, four dual chargers, 15 single chargers and one 50kW rapid charger were installed. At University Hospital of North Durham, seven dual chargers and one single charger were installed. 39 sockets in total, which will keep employee and visitor vehicles charged throughout the day.

“We’re delighted to be working with the team to support our current and future electrification plans.” 

Lewis Bell-Jones, Deputy Facilities Manager, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

One of the biggest challenges was the availability of power at the NHS sites. To solve this, active load balancing was used to manage the flow of energy to the charge points. 

The addition of the back office software, solves the Trust’s usage monitoring needs giving them instant access to real-time data which will help inform future roll-out plans.

“We are working closely with the team to design, supply, install and manage their charge point infrastructure. The new charge points will help the Trust to encourage EV driving, supporting their Green Plan strategy and to assist them in achieving their sustainability goals. The combination of fast chargers at both sites and a rapid charger at Darlington Memorial Hospital provides the Trust with the right chargers in the right place, delivering the right amount of power at the right time. The back office system provides them with a host of EV charging data on demand.”

Ralston Wild, Mer UK Associate Consultant – fleet and workplace charging

The Trust also took out a service level agreement (SLA) which covers their new charging equipment. Part of the SLA is a bespoke maintenance and annual servicing package.

Elmtronics became part of the Mer group from April 2022. The move will further strengthen Mer UK’s offering in the UK to provide workplace, fleet, public and home charging solutions.

Mer’s mission is to make sustainable electric mobility easy and accessible to everyone.

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