Listen to this article
The UK’s GRIDSERVE has announced that more than 20 ‘Electric Hubs’ – each featuring 6-12 x 350kW ultra high-power chargers with contactless payment, capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes – will open at motorway service stations across the UK by Q2 2022. The majority are planned to be installed by the end of March.
The roll-out includes a flagship electric charging forecourt at London’s Gatwick Airport – the first in the world to be hosted at an international airport.
The site will serve the tens of millions of passengers, commuters, staff, local residents and businesses that pass through the airport and its surrounding motorway network each year.
It will enable 36 EVs to be charged simultaneously, with high-power chargers that can deliver up to 350 kW of charging power, capable of adding 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes. Multiple charging connectors will cater for all types of electric cars.
The site is due to open in autumn 2022 and will host a café, comfortable waiting lounge with free superfast WiFi, convenience supermarket, children’s play area and a dedicated educational space to increase awareness around electric vehicles.
The site will be supplied with low cost, 100% renewable net zero carbon energy generated by GRIDSERVE’s own solar farms.
The investment programme forms part of GRIDSERVE’s plan to revolutionise EV charging across the UK, following the acquisition of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network in June, 2021.
Since the acquisition, GRIDSERVE has invested tens of millions of pounds in the network to develop the new Electric Hubs, replace the 300+ existing motorway chargers it inherited from Ecotricity, and install 130 additional AC chargers to cater for all types of EVs.
Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, says: “Our mission is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and that is exactly what we are doing – delivering. Getting people into electric vehicles is a big part of our vision but to do that, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our network entirely around the needs of drivers, listening to our customers’ needs and providing the best possible level of customer service to deliver the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today, 8-years ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.”
He adds: “Gatwick isn’t just an airport, it’s an ecosystem of commuters, travellers, staff, taxi drivers, car rental companies, local residents and businesses, all culminating in a transport hub that hosts tens of millions of drivers every single year. The Gatwick Electric Forecourt® will give these drivers and businesses the confidence to switch away from petrol and diesel cars, making electric journeys to and from one of the country’s most important transport hubs straightforward and sustainable.”
Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, comments: “Gatwick is pleased to partner with GRIDSERVE to deliver this fantastic and sustainable service. We are on a journey to create a low carbon economy, and Gatwick is keen to play an important role by providing new infrastructure that everyone can use, so that together we can start reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”
GRIDSERVE is also developing several large-scale hybrid solar + battery farms to supply renewable solar energy.
Every kW of energy taken out of the grid by a GRIDSERVE EV charger is netted off against a kW of zero carbon solar energy put back into the grid by a GRIDSERVE solar farm, creating a net zero carbon, low cost transport system today.