Construction of GRIDSERVE’s first electric forecourt is underway in Braintree, Essex.
The site, which is to house 24 ultra-fast 350kW electric vehicle (EV) chargers, sits on a 2.5 acre site adjacent to Great Notley, and is set to open in summer 2020.
It forms part of a network of over 100 such forecourts planned by the company. The chargers at its forecourts are set to be powered by solar PV and battery storage, also under development by GRIDSERVE.
There is to be a variety of facilities at the Braintree site, including a coffee shop, convenience supermarket and airport-style lounge with high-speed internet and meeting rooms inside a two storey building, with construction of the site supported by a £4.86 million grant from Innovate UK.
Cars will be able to charge in 20-30 minutes, although this will shorten in the future as battery technologies mature, GRIDSERVE said.
The facility is also to function as an education centre for electric vehicles and sustainable energy, providing test drive services, as well as enabling consumers to understand and secure vehicles that are the most suitable for them, the company continued.
Braintree was announced as the first location for GRIDSERVE’s forecourts in June 2019, with the first details of the site revealed.
At the time, GRIDSERVE outlined how charging bays at the site are to be separated and set into designated zones for private and fleet vehicles, buses, delivery vehicles and heavy goods vehicles, with the chargers having the option to upgrade to 500kW and MW-scale as and when they become available.
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In today's announcement, Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of GRIDSERVE, lauded the site as "the most advanced charging facility in the UK, and possibly the world".
"We’ve designed our Electric Forecourts entirely around the needs of electric vehicle drivers, updating the petrol station model for a net-zero carbon future."
GRIDSERVE also recently completed what it claims is the UK’s most advanced solar farm, a 34.7MWp project at York with bifacial panels, sun trackers and a 30MWh battery. Sister publication PV Tech Power got a behind-the-scenes look at the project’s development, with an in-depth project overview included in PV Tech Power volume 21.
The feature-length profile of the York project can be viewed within PV Tech Power 21, downloadable here.