Braintree to mark first of 100+ Electric Forecourt network
Gridserve has submitted a planning application to build the first of a 100-plus ‘Electric Forecourt’ network in the UK as it pushes ahead with plans to revolutionise EV charging.
The firm’s £1bn UK-wide programme announced this spring will create sites that aim to make EV charging as easy as using petrol stations thanks to low-cost, ultra-fast charging, backed by renewable energy and a convenient, driver-focused charging experience.
The first site is planned for Braintree in Essex, located next to the Horizon 120 Business & Innovation Park, and offering direct access to major link roads, while also capturing both regional and last mile travel for homes and businesses.
The site will offer 24 ultra-fast charging bays including 350kW chargers that can charge a typical EV in less than 30 minutes and with options to upgrade chargers to 500kW, and MW charging options for buses and heavy goods vehicles. There will also be a queuing system to minimise waiting times.
The planning application lodged with Braintree District Council also includes a coffee shop, convenience supermarket, and an airport-style lounge with high-speed internet, which will also serve as an education centre and hub to explore a broad range of EV solutions. The site will have dedicated zones for both private and fleet vehicles, such as taxis, buses, delivery vehicles and heavy goods vehicles.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said: “A large number of affordable EVs are coming to-market, and we’re about to see a steep growth curve in EV adoption. By developing this state-of-the-art Electric Forecourt in Braintree, we’ll be supporting Braintree District Council and the UK to tackle air pollution, encourage low-carbon transport, and meet climate targets, while also offering a solution that’s future-proofed to support the mass uptake of electric vehicles.”
Gridserve plans to submit further planning applications at more than 100 additional Electric Forecourt sites already secured on busy routes, near powerful grid connections close to towns, cities, and major transport hubs across the country. Location permitting, the company will also build new solar farms adjacent to Electric Forecourts, which will supply their electricity directly. Gridserve is also developing several large solar farms, supported by batteries, to supply energy via the grid for the remaining sites, to ensure that 100% of the electricity is clean, and low cost.
In the coming months, the firm is expected to submit planning applications for several additional Electric Forecourt sites, in particular in York and Hull, adjacent to two of the UK’s solar farms which are also being constructed by Gridserve.