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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

UK’s first EV charging station to open

Date: Wednesday 16 September 2020

A new electric vehicle (EV) forecourt in Braintree, Essex promises to make charging as simple and stress-free as using petrol stations.

The electric service station houses 30 EV chargers, including six Tesla Superchargers.

Twelve of the other chargers are capable of operating at up to 350kW, adding 200 miles of range to a car in as little as 20 minutes.

If drivers need assistance with charging or technical information about their vehicle, there is a phone next to every charger that can be used to call a dedicated helpline manned by EV experts from the AA.

On-site shops and cafes, as well as an airport style lounge, business meeting room pods and a wellbeing area are available for drivers to use while their EV recharges.

The Braintree site is part of a £1bn programme to develop a UK-wide network of 100 or more Electric Forecourts over the next five years.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, which is behind the project, said: “Our UK-wide network of electric forecourts will eliminate range and charging anxiety, and represent so much more than the electric equivalent of modern petrol stations.

“We 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.”

With forecourts sited close to powerful grid connections and highly populated areas or transport routes, the electric forecourt network will be powered by zero-carbon solar energy and battery storage projects.

Gridserve is developing several large solar farms as part of a ‘sun-to-wheel’ initiative that ensures that 100 per cent of the electricity used at its forecourts is renewable and, from the grid’s perspective, sustainable.

The company owns the Clayhill Solar Farm in Bedfordshire, which provides the energy for the Braintree Electric Forecourt.