In a world-first, a rainwater harvesting and filtration system has been installed for drivers using an EV charging hub in Scotland.

The new hub in Dundee has a solar canopy which provides power to both the charge points and the water system from Swedish innovators Bluewater.

Rainwater is collected on the canopy at the hub and processed using multiple stages of advanced water filtration and purification technologies to create chilled and purified drinking water vended from Bluewater’s dispensers.

CEO Bengt Rittri is one of Sweden’s leading environmental entrepreneurs. He explains, “The new EV Hub with Bluewater hydration solutions is a game changer because it will provide clean water for the city’s residents and visitors for free, while reducing pressure on municipal resources and helping to build greater water resilience.

 “In the past, drivers went to a petrol station, filled up the car and often at the same time ended up purchasing a beverage in a single-use plastic bottle. The Dundee project represents the future of the service station, in being not only zero-emission but also zero-single-use-plastic.”

Rittri believes the global problem of environmental pollution by plastics and chemicals – increasingly apparent in both marine and freshwater ecosystems – can be fixed using human ingenuity, which is why his company is focused on innovating creative approaches to sustainable water use.

UK Events and Venues MD Philip Russell added that Bluewater purification solutions have been verified in independent testing to efficiently remove PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ from tap water, providing peace of mind to consumers by removing up to 99.99% of health-threatening microplastics and chemicals such as toxic PFAS from tap water.

The tests were carried out by Bluewater and verified by the independent worldwide bio-analytical testing group Eurofins. Russell said, “Fear of what is in tap water has driven millions of people worldwide to use bottled water, but research continues to show the potential health concerns associated with frequent use of bottled water.”

A study published in the journal Water Research and led by Johns Hopkins University researchers detected PFAS substances in 39 out of more than 100 bottled waters tested. And in 2022, a French study showed that 78 percent of French bottled mineral water tested by the environmental group Agir pour l’Environnnement contained microplastics.

The low-carbon and sustainable technology solutions deployed at the Dundee hub are a collaboration between Bluewater, Dundee City Council, and traffic technology group SWARCO.

The new hub is part of Dundee’s efforts to become the greenest city in Europe by investing in sustainable EV structures with 3.9 public EV charge points per square mile. The Bluewater Rainwater harvesting system integrates rainwater storage, controls, pumps and mains water backup, and was developed in close partnership with GRAF – a global market leader in rainwater harvesting technologies.

In other innovations, the Bluewater system includes an integrated digital signage solution with weatherproof 55-inch high-resolution video screens, allowing the EV charging hub operator to share information with users filling their reusable water bottles.

The system can also be used to give advice on how to avoid plastic and live a more sustainable lifestyle. The screens use a built-in cloud-based digital signage software developed by Bluewater partner Visual Art.