Britain’s Ecotricity and GRIDSERVE to upgrade nationwide EV charging network

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British energy company Ecotricity has partnered with clean energy solutions firm GRIDSERVE to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles charging infrastructure.

The collaboration aims to intensify the development of the Electric Highway – Europe’s first nationwide charging network.

Since its launch in 2011, the Electric Highway aims to accelerate the use of EVs for long distance travelling. The aim is to ensure innovative and modern EV charging standards are adopted to reduce the charging times of EVs at the same time increasing the number of units.

In 2011, 7kW EV chargers were considered the fastest in terms of the time spent to charge a vehicle. To date, some 350kW chargers are being installed while the range of new electric cars has leapt from 80 to 300 miles or more.

This technical progress along with rapid price convergence of new electric cars with their fossil counterparts, has led to more than 200,000 electric cars on UK roads today and over 10% of all new car sales being electric.

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The recently announced ban on new petrol or diesel car sales by 2030 represents the end of the fossil car era.

As the number of EVs on the road increase, so does the demand for charging infrastructure.

Ecotricity and GRIDSERVE will replace existing chargers with new technologies to offer all three connection types (CCS, CHAdeMO, and AC) and contactless payment.

The companies will install a further 6 to 12 pumps of the all-new 350kW high power standard.

Funding for the programme is being provided by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, also a shareholder in GRIDSERVE. 

The development follows GRIDSERVE acquiring a 25% stake in Electric Highway.

Dale Vince, founder, Ecotricity, said: “I’m a fan of GRIDSERVE’s Electric Forecourt concept, their vision and passion in this space. To be able to work together to make sure the Electric Highway continues to lead the electric car revolution in Britain is an exciting prospect.

“The Electric Highway kickstarted Britain’s electric car revolution – one decade ago this summer, and together with GRIDSERVE we have big plans for the second decade – and the end of fossil powered cars.”

Toddington Harper, CEO, GRIDSERVE, adds: “I’ve been driving an electric vehicle for 8 years, and the Electric Highway was the network that originally made that possible. It’s, therefore, a huge privilege for myself and GRIDSERVE to take a role alongside Ecotricity in the next evolution of the Electric Highway.