GRIDSERVE have announced that the UK’s first Electric Forecourt near Braintree, Essex, is open for business. This represents a major breakthrough for the massive expansion of electric car and vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK.
The site is the first of over 100 Electric Forecourts being built by GRIDSERVE over the next five years. It will provide people with the confidence that the UK will have the charging infrastructure required for mass electric car adoption ahead of the 2030 ban on the sales of petrol and diesel cars.
The company’s £1 billion UK-wide programme aims to make driving electric vehicles an enjoyable, convenient and stress-free experience, which from today onwards, is delivering net-zero electric driving at a cost that’s lower than driving petrol or diesel vehicles.
The Electric Forecourt is part of GRIDSERVE’s wider ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure, built to deliver low cost, net zero-carbon energy to every vehicle that uses one of GRIDSERVE’s chargers. Electricity is generated from both the solar power canopies above the chargers and a network of hybrid solar farms, also operated by GRIDSERVE.
The UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm in Clay Hill is paired with Braintree Electric Forecourt, providing 100 percent renewable energy via the National Grid. There is also a 6 MWh battery onsite which helps to balance the local energy grid and shift energy to periods when it is more valuable. For example, on windy winter nights the battery can store enough energy to drive 24,000 miles (39,000km) in electric vehicles the following day, helping to maximise the value of renewable energy resources, stabilise the grid and keep prices low.
Drivers charging at the Electric Forecourt will initially pay just 24p per kWh of energy, which is currently the lowest ultra-high power charging rate on the market today. This means a typical charge from 20 to 80 percent costs under £10 for an average-size electric vehicle on the market today. To deliver additional flexibility GRIDSERVE also have plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in the future.
While vehicles charge, drivers can relax and shop in state-of-the-art facilities that cater for all their needs. This includes a comprehensive retail space that includes WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Booths, Post Office and Gourmade. The facility also includes a waiting lounge, free superfast WiFi, high-end washrooms, a dedicated kid’s area, a wellbeing area with exercise bikes that generate electricity and business meeting room pods.
Toddington Harper, Founder and CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “Today’s announcement represents a major milestone in achieving GRIDSERVE’s purpose to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change. It’s our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution.
“However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our Electric Forecourts® entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today – a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars”