Just ten months into ownership of the Electric Highway, GRIDSERVE has transformed the electric vehicle (EV) charging network, upgrading all its chargers across the UK’s motorways to bring fast, reliable and connected chargers to the UK’s busiest roadside locations.
Since June 2021, over 300 existing Electric Highway chargers – at over 130 motorway service areas run by Extra, Moto, Roadchef, Welcome Break and Westmorland – have been replaced by GRIDSERVE, and now provide contactless card payment, 24-hour support and real-time status updates on Zap-Map.
In addition to upgrading medium-power chargers with the latest technology, work is continuing at pace to drive the high-power motorway charging experience to the next level. GRIDSERVE has already started to deliver new High Power Electric Hubs, which consist of six or more high power chargers, with three of these new sites operational today and a further nine currently under construction.
The Swansea, Exeter and Burton-in-Kendal Electric Hubs, with chargers capable of speeds up to 350kW, have transformed charging in these areas. The sites are on major arterial routes in south Wales, south west and north west England, where 24 new chargers can deliver up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes to those travelling to or passing through the locations.
This is by no means mission complete for the upgraded medium power charging locations, with GRIDSERVE’s approach aiming to be one of continuous improvement and innovation. As an example, this month also sees the start of the roll out of the dual charging feature on the medium power chargers on the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway. This improvement enables multiple connectors to be used at the same time, on a single charger, doubling the number of cars that can charge at once at those locations.
“As an early adopter of electric vehicles myself, the Electric Highway network played an essential role in enabling me to make the switch. However, those days are long gone and GRIDSERVE’s focus is delivering an EV charging network fit for purpose to support the mass-market transition to electric vehicles,” said GRIDSERVE CEO Toddington Harper.
The original Electric Highway network was created in the early days of electric vehicles and was a critical step in enabling travel for early adopters of electric vehicles. This decade, with the 2030 ban on new petrol or diesel vehicles, significant growth continues to be needed to support the mass market transition to electric vehicles.
“Following us commencing the upgrades in 2021, within a matter of months the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway achieved the highest customer satisfaction rating in the network’s 10-year history in Zap-Map’s consumer survey,” Harper continued.
“Headwinds caused by global supply chain issues, manufacturing and transportation delays, compounded with new contractual issues to work through, made completing our upgrade plans more challenging than we had initially anticipated, so we are really pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone today.
“We’ve had great feedback from drivers on both the network upgrades and also on our new High Power Electric Hubs, which provide the best possible charging experience, and are already enabling more drivers to travel quickly and comfortably around the UK”.