UK sees the opening of its first all-electric forecourt


Electric vehicle (EV) charging network developer Gridserve has announced its first electric forecourt is open for business at a site near Braintree in Essex, delivering a major milestone for the company's ambitious expansion plans.

The dedicated fast charging facility - which is capable of charging 36 EVs simultaneously, delivering around 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes - is envisaged as the first in a network of over 100 Electric Forecourts that are planned for the next five years as part of a £1bn investment drive.

The Braintree site is linked with The UK's first subsidy-free solar farm in Clay Hill providing 100% renewable energy via the National Grid, aided by a 6MWh onsite battery to help balance the local energy grid and shift energy to periods when it is more valuable.

  • Drivers using the site will initially pay 24p per kWh of energy
  • A typical charge from 20 per cent to 80 per cent capacity will cost under £10 for an average-size EV. 
  • Gridserve plan to deliver additional grid flexibility, including a tiered pricing structure in the future.

Users of the site will be able to visit the likes of Costa Coffee, WH Smith and Gourmade, as well as a waiting lounge, children’s play area and have access to free superfast WiFi. The site also features a wellbeing area with exercise bikes that generates electricity as well as designated meeting areas for business-related working.

The opening coincides with Gridserve’s launch of a new EV leasing business, which has seen it join up with Hitachi Capital to offer customers EVs from a variety of manufacturers, available on lease as part of a package that sees energy costs included in the lease payments, enabling customers to charge at electric forecourts without paying additional costs,