Retail giants to ensure ‘fully loaded’ customer experience at UK’s first EV forecourt
The UK’s first Electric Forecourt will be backed by major UK household brands when it opens in November, ensuring a “fully loaded” customer experience.
The site will open near Braintree, Essex, this November, focused on low-cost, ultra-fast charging, backed by renewable energy. It’s one of more than 100 such forecourts planned by global energy business Gridserve, which has promised a “driver-focused charging experience” from the outset.
It’s now announced partnerships with household brands including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Post Office, Booths and Gourmade together with technology partners Tesla, ABB, and the AA to help deliver its vision of making electric vehicle charging as simple and stress-free as using petrol stations, but with a radically improved customer experience.
The network’s high-power chargers will be able to deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes, and much faster in the future as battery technologies evolve further. The site also includes six Tesla Superchargers.
But while vehicles charge, drivers will be able to relax and shop in a two-storey building housing a waiting lounge, free superfast Wi-Fi, high-end washrooms, a dedicated kid’s area, wellbeing area and business meeting room pods.
The ground floor will feature retail space, operated by WHSmith and including a coffee shop, convenience supermarket, as well as fresh and frozen food, supported by brands including Costa Coffee, Post Office, Booths and Gourmade.
Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, said: “The UK’s first Electric Forecourt represents so much more than an electric equivalent of a modern petrol station – it will deliver a fully loaded customer experience, offering the Best of British retail and customer service to cater for a full range of consumer and driver needs.”
Drivers will also be able to visit an education centre to showcase electric vehicles, including further information on electric vehicle solutions from Hitachi Capital UK Plc, and the AA will provide a dedicated helpline from each charger to answer technical questions related to the charger or even their vehicle.
Planning is also underway for future Electric Forecourts; applications for two additional sites in Uckfield and Norwich East have been submitted as part of the 100+-strong network.