GRIDSERVE has announced that the UK’s first Electric Forecourt near Braintree, Essex, is finally open for business.
The forecourt, as we reported, is a state-of-the-art facility enabling 36 electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously, with high power chargers that can deliver up to 350 kW of charging power, allowing vehicles to add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes.
Drivers charging at the Electric Forecourt will initially pay just 24p per kWh of energy (including VAT), which is currently the lowest rate on the market for ultra-high-power charging stations.
The facility is on a 2.5-acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131 with links to Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Colchester and the M11.
This forecourt is only the beginning of GRIDSERVE’s strategy as the company plans to build over 100 sites in the next five years. The company’s £1 billion UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience.
The Electric Forecourt has been 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 thanks to the company’s ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure.
In fact, the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm in Clayhill is paired with the Braintree Forecourt, providing 100% renewable energy via the National Grid.
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, including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Booths, Post Office, and Gourmade. The Forecourt will be equipped with free superfast Wi-Fi, high-end washrooms, and even a dedicated kids’ area.
The goal of the company is to help consumers switch from internal combustion engines to battery electric and lead the all-electric revolution, according to Toddington Harper, Founder and CEO of GRIDSERVE.
“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,” he said. “People now have the full confidence to make the transition to an electric vehicle, knowing that charging is in-hand, and it’s actually less expensive to use an electric car than a petrol or diesel alternative.”
The facility was made possible also thanks to £2.8 billion government funding as the country is encouraging the uptake of zero emission vehicles, according to Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean.