Sustainable energy firm GRIDSERVE has announced its plans to build a network of Electric Forecourts® designed to meet the needs of electric vehicle drivers.
More than 100 of GRIDSERVE’s Electric Forecourts® are set to be deployed across the UK, providing reasonably priced ultra-fast charging – most vehicles will be able to charge fully in less than 30 minutes – as well as customer facilities for drivers waiting for their vehicles to charge, including coffee shops, fresh food outlets, convenience supermarkets; “airport-style” lounges with high speed internet capability; and education hubs where visitors can learn about the benefits provided by electric mobility solutions. The electric forecourt network is designed to serve both privately owned and fleet vehicles, such as taxis, buses and freight vehicles.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of GRIDSERVE, said: “We plan to make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations. The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome, and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost. We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focused, brand new Electric Forecourts® that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative.”
GRIDSERVE’s £1 billion (€1.16 billion) programme, promoted in the UK government’s first Energy Investment Portfolio, will see the company build new advanced solar farms – construction is set to begin later this year on the first sites in York and Hull – in order to power the electric forecourt network using sustainable, cheap energy sources. GRIDSERVE has already made preparations to begin work on its first 80 Electric Forecourt® sites; and intends where possible to construct solar farms close to the Electric Forecourts® to supply energy directly to them.
Harper added: “Within five years we plan to have more than 100 Electric Forecourts® in use, with each supported by solar energy and battery storage. This infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, serve the grid, and help the UK meet climate and clean air targets. We are partnering with operators of fleet vehicles, developers, financiers of vehicles and infrastructure, EV manufacturers, retailers, local authorities, and others who share our vision.”
GRIDSERVE is in the process of developing an app for users of its electric forecourt network, to support the driver experience by enabling users to plan their journey; book a charging slot; and pay for on-site automotive services, such as car washing. The app will also facilitate a loyalty scheme, rewarding regular customers for using Electric Forecourts®.