Over 100 electric car rapid charging hubs to be rolled out across the UK
More than 100 new rapid charging hubs for electric cars are to be rolled out across the UK, with the first launching this summer.
The first Electric Forecourt – developed by sustainable energy firm Gridserve – will open near Braintree, Essex later this year. It will offer 24 EV superchargers, offering charging speeds of up to 350kW.
The Electric Forecourts – which are to be built on busy routes and near powerful grid connections close to towns, cities and major transport hubs – will be powered by renewable energy derived from solar panels and other battery storage projects.
To pass the time while their cars are charging – a full top-up takes roughly 30 minutes for current EVs with rapid charging capability – drivers will be able to make use of a two-storey building on site with a coffee shop, supermarket, high-speed internet and everything else you would expect to find at a service station.
In addition, the building will feature an education centre, providing information about electric vehicles and sustainable energy, with the aim of improving consumer confidence in such technologies.
Gridserve is in talks with local authorities around the UK and aims to have a 100-strong network of Electric Forecourts operational within five years, with several more sites expected to begin construction before the end of 2020.
The first site is being built on a 2.5-acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, and is supported by a £4.86 million grant from Innovate UK. It has links to Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Colchester and the M11.
James Cleverly, Minister of State and MP for Braintree, commented: “Our Government is committed to increasing the take-up of electric vehicles to clean our air and enable us to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Gridserve’s Electric Forecourt, close to Braintree, is pioneering the world-class charging infrastructure that we need to support our policies and will inspire people in towns and cities throughout the country to have the confidence to make the move to sustainable transport”.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, added: “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 per cent renewable energy, and with the best possible charging experience.”
Confused about how to charge an electric car? Head over to our sister site DrivingElectric to find out more…