Today, GRIDSERVE, the tech-enabled sustainable business that runs the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway, one of the UK’s leading electric charging networks, opens its new Compact Electric Forecourt in Norwich.
The project, which was constructed with funding from Novuna, is located at Broadland Gate Business Park in Postwick adjacent to the A47.
The state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) experience facility is the first-of-its-kind and delivers the latest charging technology, supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. This will help to pave the way for mass electric vehicle adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.
The new Electric Forecourt is one of the most advanced charging facilities in the world, hosting 36 electric vehicle chargers. It includes 22 high-power chargers delivering up to 350kW of power.
These are the fastest chargers commercially available and are capable of adding up to 100 miles (160km) of range in just five minutes – the time it takes to grab a coffee. The Norwich Electric Forecourt also features eight Tesla Superchargers and six low power AC chargers to cater for every type of electric vehicle.
The suave-looking Norwich Electric Forecourt also offers drivers a place to relax and refuel while they charge, with well-known brands including Costa Coffee, M&S Food and WHSmith. The modern site also offers super-fast WIFI and bookable meeting pods.
Along with offering a great charging experience, the Norwich Electric Forecourt provides an electric vehicle experience. It offers visitors without electric cars a place to find out more about them and chat with impartial experience electric vehicle staff about charging or vehicle leasing options.
In the coming weeks, visitors will also be able to test drive the latest in electric cars from the biggest brands, all in one place thanks to GRIDSERVE Car Leasing.
To celebrate the launch of Norwich Electric Forecourt, GRIDSERVE is also now offering 1000 miles (1,600km)
of free charging for every car they lease until the end of June (terms and conditions apply).
The Norwich Electric Forecourt more than doubles the number of high-powered chargers in the region. It provides essential charging infrastructure that delivers drivers the confidence to go electric and help people make the transition to zero-emissions motoring.
The new Electric Forecourt is great news for both Norwich and the wider East of England region, which currently have comparatively low electric vehicle charger coverage compared to other regions in the UK.
The region hosts just 29 chargers per 100,000 people compared to the UK average of 42 per 100,000 people, or 102 per 100,000 people in London.
As a result of this, electric vehicles only account for a small proportion of cars on the road in the Norwich area.
In addition to this new much-needed charging station, Norwich received government funding to assess the viability of a zero-emission zone in the city in a bid to cut air pollution from the city centre.
If the plan goes ahead, all petrol and diesel vehicles could be banned from the city, making emission-free electric vehicles essential.
The Norwich Electric Forecourt also provides a great solution for drivers looking to make the switch to an electric car or vehicle who can’t charge at home. It will also assist local businesses in the area looking to switch their fleets to electric.
The new Norwich site will also help electric vehicle drivers access the city centre and improve connections to surrounding areas such as Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough.
GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourts have also been demonstrated to increase electric vehicle uptake in surrounding areas. Since the company opened the world’s first Electric Forecourt in Braintree, Essex in 2020, the district has seen a significant uptake in electric vehicle registrations. Growth has increased by 82 percent, more than double the UK’s average rate of electric vehicle growth.
The Norwich site forms part of GRIDSERVE’s £1 billion UK-wide investment being rolled out into its charging infrastructure network and is designed to deliver the best possible charging experience. It is open to everyone, whether they are electric vehicle drivers yet or not.
Toddington Harper, GRIDSERVE CEO said: “This decade is crucial for climate action and it’s vital that we deliver the solutions that will move the needle on climate change.
“The widespread transition to electric vehicles, powered by sustainable energy, is a key part of what’s needed. Giving drivers the confidence to switch to an electric vehicle and enabling a widespread transition away from fossil fuel vehicles is a central aim of our Electric Forecourts.
“That’s why we have put the consumer at the heart of our design, with our Electric Forecourts serving the needs of local communities in their transition to electric vehicles.
“Norwich Electric Forecourt® showcases a brand new design, where we have been able to provide both charging and a great customer experience in a smaller footprint than our first site at Braintree.
“By elevating the facilities above the chargers, we make the best use of the space available and are able to deliver a great EV experience without compromise, even when space is at a premium and sites are more constrained.”
Robert Gordon, CEO Novuna, said: “It is a remarkable project and a game changer for people and businesses in the area interested in transitioning to electric vehicles powered by clean energy.
“Projects like this really make a difference in providing the confidence people need to become electric vehicle drivers”.
Councillor Jo Copplestone, Broadland District Council portfolio holder, said: “Protecting the environment for future generations is a priority for Broadland District Council.
“We’re quickly moving towards a future where driving an electric vehicle will be the norm and for this to happen, the public must be supported with reliable and affordable charging solutions.
“As we look towards a zero-emissions future, GRIDSERVE’s new Electric Forecourt® is a great boost for the district and the region and will help the area accelerate our transition to cleaner transport.”
GRIDSERVE continues to accelerate its rollout plans with additional Electric Forecourts now in progress, including one at Gatwick Airport. The company also has planning permission at other locations including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Stevenage with more than 30 additional sites under development as part of the company’s commitment to delivering over 100 Electric Forecourts.