OXFORD will trial the world’s largest hybrid battery system, which will boost the city's electric vehicle charging capacity and heat around 300 homes.

The £41m project, backed by Oxford City Council, will see a large battery connected to the Cowley substation in Blackberry Lane. That will store and then feed electricity back into the city’s grid.

Energy from the 50MW battery system will provide ground-source heating to about 300 homes. Spare power will also be used to power an electric vehicle ‘superhub’, which will feature 20 ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points. They could charge an electric car in between 10 and 30 minutes.

Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is a collaboration between the city council, Oxford University and firms Pivot Power, Habitat Energy, redT and Kensa.

Power will be stored by the battery when demand is low and then used when it is high.

Tom Hayes, the city council's executive board member for safer and green environment, said: "Leading businesses are investing in Oxford because they recognise that we're already trialling new technologies exactly like ESO.

"This announcement allows us as a city to embrace our technological future."

The city council was awarded £1.6m as part of the Government’s Innovate UK agency for the scheme.

In total, it will cost £41m and Innovate UK will supply £10.2m. Other money will come from the other partners in the project.

ESO will be trialled for three years.

Other funding will also help pay for a 'Trial before you Buy' programme for hackney carriage taxi drivers across the city.

Currently the city's fleet is diesel-powered but it will be electric-powered by 2025.

The council has previously secured about £4m to boost the provision of electric vehicles in the city.

It has been given £2.3m by the Government to upgrade buses to be fully electric or to pump out 'ultra-low' emissions.

Another £800,000 will pay for the installation of electric vehicle charging points for residents across the city.

In addition to those funds, another £474,000 will be used to install the world's first ever pop-up electric charging points in Oxford's streets. While £500,000 will help pay to install charging points for taxi operators.

The announcement came a day after the county council unanimously voted to 'acknowledge' the world faces a climate emergency. It also pledged to make itself carbon neutral by 2030.