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GRIDSERVE lays claim to biggest motorway EV charging upgrade in UK history

The Gatwick Electric Forecourt is the first in the world to be hosted at an international airport. Image: GRIDSERVE

The Gatwick Electric Forecourt is the first in the world to be hosted at an international airport. Image: GRIDSERVE

Over 20 of GRIDSERVE’s Electric Hubs are set to open by Q2 2022, with 11 now in construction alongside two Electric Forecourts.

These hubs, alongside the replacement of legacy Electric Highway chargers by the company, constitute what GRIDSERVE is claiming to be the biggest motorway EV charging upgrade in UK history.

The Electric Hubs are to each feature 6-12 350kW EV chargers with contactless payment, with a further 50 additional sites to follow in the next phase.

Some of the Electric Hubs currently under development are located in areas traditionally left behind in the EV transition, including Wales and Cornwall.

The two new Electric Forecourts, meanwhile, are to be situated adjacent to major transport routes and motorways. One will be at Gatwick Airport, while the other will be in Norwich. With both under construction, they are due to open in 2022.

Further Electric Forecourt sites have also secured planning permission, including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Bromborough, with over 30 additional sites also under development. It follows GRIDSERVE opening the Braintree Electric Forecourt in December 2020, with ambitions of rolling out 100 across the UK over the next five years.

The new Gatwick Electric Forecourt is to be the first in the world to be hosted at an international airport. Located on the Ring Road South approach to Gatwick’s South Terminal and adjacent to the M23, the Forecourt will enable 36 EVs to be charged simultaneously with high-power chargers that can deliver 350kW of charging power.

The site is due to open in autumn 2022, with a café, waiting lounge with free WiFi, convenience supermarket, children’s play area and a dedicated educational space to increase EV awareness also on site.

The Norwich Electric Forecourt is scheduled to open a little earlier, in April 2022, and will mirror the set up at Gatwick.

The construction of the Electric Hubs and Forecourts forms part of GRIDSERVE’s wider plans for EV charging, having acquired Ecotricity’s Electric Highway in June. The company has been replacing all of the original Electric Highway chargers, with 75% of these works now completed. Chargers for the remaining 25% are ready and awaiting approval to be installed, GRIDSERVE said.

In July, the company brought together its Electric Hubs, Electric Forecourt and Electric Highway brands under a single umbrella: The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway.

“Our mission is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and that is exactly what we are doing – delivering," Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, said.

The company is also developing several large-scale hybrid solar-plus-storage sites to supply solar energy as part of a “sun-to-wheel” ecosystem. As such, every kilowatt of energy taken out of the grid by a GRIDSERVE EV charger is netted off against a kilowatt of zero carbon solar energy put back into the grid by a GRIDSERVE solar farm.

In 2019, the company completed a hybrid solar-plus-storage site in York, with this the first utility-scale solar farm in the UK to use both trackers and bifacial solar panels.

A year later, it purchased the Clayhill solar-plus-storage farm from Anesco, with Clayhill being the UK's first subsidy-free solar farm.

This year, the company launched GRIDSERVE Partner Network to deploy its EV infrastructure across the globe, opening up its 'sun-to-wheel' ecosystem to international like-minded partners.

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