In a big jump forward for EV infrastructure, Gridserve has opened the first Electric Forecourt® in Braintree, Essex. This is part of a plan to open 100 around the UK in the next five years. This is a key step in moving towards mass EV adoption ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. Gridserve’s £1bn UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience.
The new forecourt is located just off the A131, adjacent to Great Notley. The 36 electric vehicle chargers allow EV owners to charge their cars with up to 350 kW of power. These chargers are powered by a canopy of solar panels, as well as Gridserve’s network of solar farms. This means electric cars can charge with 100% renewable energy through the National Grid.
There’s also a 6 MWh battery onsite that allows solar energy to be stored. This helps to balance the local energy grid and keep energy prices low. Initially, drivers will pay 24p per kWh of energy but there are plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in the future.
While owners charge their vehicles, there’s a comprehensive retail space to explore that includes a coffee shop, Post Office, WHSmith and more. There’s also free Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and even a gym with exercise bikes that generate electricity.
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.”