The charging infrastructure for electric vehicle is constantly expanding. Gridserve has just announced that the first of a nationwide network of over 100 electric Forecourts is now under construction and will open this autumn.
The Forecourt, which will be located near Braintree in Essex, will be a state-of-the-art facility as it will be able to charge 24 vehicles at the same time in under 30 minutes thanks to its superfast 350 kW chargers.
The video presentation suggests that drivers will wait in style for the battery to charge as this facility is expected to have a premium lounge area. This will house a range of conveniences including a coffee shop, supermarket, and airport-style lounge with high-speed internet and meeting rooms.
This Forecourt will be the first of 100 sites that will be built on busy routes and near powerful grid connections close to towns, cities and major transport hubs. It is all part of an incredible £1bn programme that has the ultimate goal of helping the spread of EV technology and supporting the UK’s commitment to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles within 15 years. The goal is to have this wide infrastructure ready and operational within five years.
The construction of the first electric Forecourt is on a 2.5-acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, and it is supported by a £4.86 million grant from Innovate UK, one of the largest awarded last year. The site has links to Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Colchester and the M11.
The new high-tech infrastructure is exactly what the country needs to ease the transition from internal combustion engines to battery technology, according to James Cleverly, Minister of State, former Conservative Party Chairman and MP for Braintree.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In order to sustain these new facilities, the company is also developing several large solar farms, supported by batteries, to supply energy to its Forecourts to ensure that 100% of the electricity is clean and low cost. The company recently completed the UK’s most advanced solar farm, a 34.7MWp project at York with bifacial panels, sun trackers, and a 30MWh battery.
According to Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, this project is just the start of what the company wants to achieve in the next few years.
“We want to accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, support UK climate and clean air targets and help the grid meet the challenges of the low carbon transition,” he said. “We are interested in new project opportunities and are partnering with investors, developers, local authorities, EV manufacturers, retailers, fleet operators and others who share our vision.”