3ti wins Innovation Category 2023 – E-Mobility EV infrastructure provider

We are absolutely thrilled to be announced as a winner at the E-Mobility Awards for E-Mobility EV infrastructure provider 2023.

We launched Papilio3 in May last year to boost the roll out of EV charging infrastructure and help to decarbonise the transport sector. 
It provides a solution to rapidly accelerate EV adoption through the provision of EV infrastructure that meets the requirements of a significant proportion of EV drivers.

As a destination and workplace charging solution, it takes advantage of increased dwell times to provide an efficient EV charge that optimises use of locally generated solar.

Thank you to everyone at E-Mobility Awards for an amazing evening and to our dedicated, hardworking team at 3ti Energy Hubs for being ‘driven’ to achieve our purpose of “leaving something better behind”.

The E-Mobility Awards (incorporating the Electric Vehicle Awards) seek out ingenuity, innovation and achievement across the sector, including all supporting charging infrastructures and services.


Papilio3 has been developed to directly combat the UK EV infrastructure gap. Development of electrified powertrain technologies is accelerating throughout the automotive industry. UK sales of EVs are rising monthly. However, the UK requires 2.8 million public EV charge points by 2035. It currently has just over 56,000. 

Papilio3 is a pop-up, mini solar car park and EV charging hub that is deployable in under 24 hours. It overcomes the barriers to adoption of large-scale solar car park installations, and 3ti Energy Hubs will have between 30 – 50 in operation within the next 12 months.  

An infrastructure solution

3ti is the UK’s leading designer, installer, funder and operator of large-scale Solar Car Parks (SCPs). Based in Leatherhead, Surrey, 3ti has recently launched its pop-up, mini solar car park and EV charging hub, Papilio3 at the Surrey Research Park in Guildford and plans to install a further 30 – 50 across the country in the next twelve months. 

Papilio3 – an independent EV charging hub, providing 12 fast EV charge points to sites with an existing electricity connection – was designed to boost the roll out of EV charging infrastructure and help to decarbonise the transport sector. Papilio3 overcomes the barriers to adoption of large-scale SCP installations, including, planning approvals, grid upgrades, capital cost and installation time.

Papilio3 provides a solution that will rapidly accelerate EV adoption through the provision of EV infrastructure that meets the requirements of a significant proportion of EV drivers. As a destination and workplace charging solution, it takes advantage of increased dwell times to provide an efficient EV charge that optimises use of locally generated solar.  

While the most efficient form of EV charging is generally done at home, this will not be possible for around 50% of EV drivers. Altering EV drivers’ mindsets – to move away from the traditional-forecourt refuel “Stop to Charge” model of DC Rapid Chargers, and adopt a more convenient, “Charge where you stop” mentality – will be a step-change moment in terms of how EV infrastructure is perceived.  

Deliberately designed to address the poorly served middle ground between domestic and rapid/ultra-rapid charging, Papilio3 provides easily accessible, affordable, low carbon EV charging for everyone, regardless of the type of house they live in and where in the country they are based.    

The cost effective, low-carbon alternative to rapid charging is destination and workplace charging, where cars are parked for upwards of 2-3 hours at a time and where existing grid supplies can be supported by the integration of solar PV and battery energy storage systems (BESS).  

Papilio3 is an innovative solution with the potential to revolutionise how perspective EV drivers think of the ‘ideal’ charging network: shunning the cost- and energy-inefficient forecourt model in favour of a sustainable, renewables-rich alternative where the majority of journeys are rarely interrupted by the need to charge.  

For example, cars are parked for 95% of their time – that’s when and where they should be charged. Additionally, according to the most recent National Travel Survey, cars and vans are travelling steadily shorter distances: trips in 2020 were 33% and 44% lower respectively than levels seen in 2002.

Furthermore, 90% of UK journeys are under 50 miles and 95% are under 100 miles. The average length of journey in the UK is 20 miles. With an optimised EV infrastructure in place – such as that which Papilio3 has the potential to put into place – electrification is the optimal source of motive power to deliver on net zero targets and decarbonise the UK transport sector.  

Suitable locations for Papilio3 placement include hospitals, hotels, meeting venues, sports or shopping centres, tourist attractions and town centres. Each unit offers sheltered, illuminated and secure parking, plus a convenient, available and reliable EV charging experience that supports a mixture of 7, 11 and 22 kilowatts.  

Each location will now also undergo a stringent 63-point assessment by ChargeSafe, the independent charge point assessment and accreditation body. This will ensure that the design, location, facilities, functionality and accessibility of every Papilio3 charging hub meets the needs of all users as the network of units expands.   

The automotive industry is advancing faster than ever before and this is an exceptionally exciting time to be involved in EVs. Adoption of a workplace and destination charging mentality, as promised by Papilio3, will drastically increase the feasibility of EV ownership for the proportion of the UK previously considered to be hamstrung by a lack of home-charging support. Through utilisation of renewables, Papilio3 can truly unleash the potential of EVs.   

Technology efficiency

Papilio3 is truly innovative. It integrates three technologies that are more usually considered individually, or at best in pairs: solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and EV charge points. Combining the three offers a range of benefits, including the ability to use grid energy, solar power and battery storage to optimise the speed and carbon intensity of EV charging. Onsite renewable energy generation from solar panels also reduces energy costs and gives businesses greater control over energy supply.    

Based around a recycled shipping container, Papilio3 can be installed in under 8 hours, without the need for costly, time-consuming planning approvals and grid upgrades.  By boosting an existing three phase connection with solar energy and a battery energy storage system, Papilio3 can charge 12 EVs simultaneously at 3.5, 7, 11 or 22kW, vastly simplifying and speeding up the roll out of much needed EV charge point infrastructure. 

Units are fitted with three canopies that support 42 solar panels and have a battery storage capacity of up to 250kWh. They also require no capital investment – units will be leased from 3ti.   

SCP and Papilio3 potential is vast. For example, a 19.32kWp unit can produce 17,214 kWh per year. Over five years this offers a 16tCO2e saving and is the equivalent of 40,393 road miles covered and 269 trees planted.  For perspective, there are around 20,000 public car parks with 4 million spaces and a further 9 million workplace parking spaces in the UK.  

Since it was installed at the end of May, by the end of July 3ti’s first Papilio3 prototype – installed at Surrey Research Park – had already generated sufficient solar power to drive an average family EV in excess of 22,000 miles – almost three times the average UK driver’s annual mileage (according to DfT figures).  

The 12 charge points have been in regular use and yield at the site had exceeded 5.5 MWh by the end of July. In June, Papilio3 generated 2.36MWh, which represents a 53% PV Generation to EV Charging ratio, although this will reduce throughout the year and is expected to average around 20% after winter.  

The potential for SCPs to contribute to energy supplies and decarbonisation is vast.  A typical car park with 350 spaces will produce around 900,000 kWh of electricity a year, saving the equivalent of 4,100 tonnes of carbon emissions (tCO2e) over a 30 year period.  This equates to powering around 6,000 homes or planting 68,000 trees.  

There are around 20,000 public car parks with 4 million parking spaces and a further 9 million workplace parking spaces in the UK.  At a theoretical 3 kWp of solar per parking space, that’s 39 Giga Watts of installed capacity, enough to meet 140% of the UK’s annual electricity demand.  

Papilio3 will help to unlock these underutilised spaces but will also facilitate solar generation from smaller car parks, often uneconomic to develop as full scale SCP and of course provide much needed EV charging infrastructure where cars spend much of their time.  In a car park!


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