What is claimed to be ‘the biggest upgrade of motorway EV charging infrastructure in UK history’ is underway after Gridserve announced that it is set to open 20 Electric Hubs at motorway service stations across the country by Q2 2022.
Featuring six-to-12 350kW ultra high-power chargers with contactless payment, capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes, the majority of the hubs are planned to be installed by the end of March, with 50 additional sites to follow.
Two Gridserve Electric Forecourts situated adjacent to major transport routes and motorways, including a flagship site at Gatwick Airport and another in Norwich, are also in construction, due to open in 2022. These follow the company’s first Electric Forecourt site in Braintree, Essex, which opened last year.
Several additional Electric Forecourt sites now also have planning permission including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Bromborough, with more than 30 additional sites also under development as part of the company’s commitment to deliver over 100 Electric Forecourts.
The investment programme follows Gridserve’s acquisition of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network in June, and will see a number of Electric Hubs located in areas traditionally underserved with EV charging infrastructure, including Wales and Cornwall.
Since the Ecotricity acquisition, Gridserve has begun to replace the more than 300 existing motorway chargers it inherited from the company, and install 130 additional AC chargers to cater for all types of EVs.
Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, said: “Getting people into electric vehicles is a big part of our vision but to do that, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our network entirely around the needs of drivers, listening to our customers’ needs and providing the best possible level of customer service to deliver the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today, eight-years ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.”
Developed in partnership with Gatwick Airport, the Gatwick Electric Forecourt will enable 36 EVs to be charged simultaneously, using multiple charging connectors to cater for all types of electric cars.
The site is due to open in autumn 2022 and will host a cafe, waiting lounge with free WiFi, convenience supermarket, children’s play area and a dedicated educational space to increase awareness around EVs. Furthermore, the site will be supplied with low-cost, renewable net zero carbon energy generated by Gridserve’s own solar farms.
Jonathan Pollard, chief commercial officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “Our new high-powered charging facility will help meet the increasing need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at the airport, including the growing number of our passengers who own electric vehicles and need fast, convenient and effective charging facilities.
“The new charging infrastructure will also benefit people right across our community, including thousands of staff who live locally, businesses looking to introduce electric vehicle fleets – even those operating busses and trucks – and also local residents who may be considering buying an electric-powered car but were undecided due to the lack of charging facilities.”
The Norwich Electric Forecourt, which is nearing the end of its construction, and is scheduled to open in April 2022, will mirror the set up at Gatwick.