The traditional forecourt and service stations are changing. As a result of more electric cars on the road, and a ban on petrol and diesel cars coming in 15 years, the need to provide greater amenities to support the plug-in revolution is seeing the UK open its first dedicated electric vehicle forecourt, which will offer ultra-fast, low-cost charging as well as shops and a place for drivers to relax while they top-up.
A nationwide network of over 100 Electric Forecourts from Gridserve is now under construction and will open this summer in the UK. One located in Braintree, Essex, can charge 24 electric vehicles at once with superchargers that can deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to charge vehicles within 20-30 minutes.
Whilst vehicles charge, drivers will be able to relax or shop in a state of the art two story building, which will house a range of facilities including a coffee shop, convenience supermarket, and airport-style lounge with high-speed internet and meeting rooms. The facility will also function as an education center for electric vehicles and sustainable energy, which will help people to understand, test drive, and secure vehicles that are most suitable for them, with the ultimate aim of providing the confidence, and support to transition to an all-electric future.
As part of its £1bn program, Gridserve is developing more than 100 Electric Forecourt sites on busy routes and near powerful grid connections close to towns, cities and major transport hubs. Supporting the UK Government’s commitment to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles within 15-years, the company aims to have a UK-wide network operational within five years.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said: “We’ve designed our Electric Forecourts entirely around the needs of electric vehicle drivers, updating the petrol station model for a net-zero carbon future. Many more people want to buy electric vehicles but are worried about how to charge them. We will help solve that challenge and deliver the confidence needed to make the switch to electric transport.
“This will be the most advanced charging facility in the UK, and possibly the world. Drivers will be able to turn up and charge their vehicle at the fastest rate each vehicle can support, using 100% renewable energy, and with the best possible charging experience.”
Gridserve is also developing several large solar farms, supported by batteries, to supply energy to its Electric Forecourts® to ensure that 100% of the electricity is clean and low cost. The company recently completed the UK’s most advanced solar farm, a 34.7MWp project at York with bifacial panels, sun trackers, and a 30MWh battery, and is completing a 25.7MWp project at Hull using similar technologies.