UK solar company GRIDSERVE has unveiled plans to install a country-wide network of ‘Electric Forecourts’ to deliver EV fast charging to local vehicle owners and make charging as convenient and simple as fuelling a diesel or petrol vehicle
The 5 year plan will see more than 100 forecourts developed at a value of around £1 billion in partnership with charging infrastructure company Charge-Point.
80 sites have been secured to date, on busy routes close to towns, cities and transport hubs.
There is also an app in development which is hoped will enhance driver experiences with options like reserved charging slot, car-wash, and a loyalty programme that will accrue points which can be used onsite.
Featuring dedicated zones for private and fleet vehicles, forecourts will also have airport-style lounges equipped with high-speed internet, coffee shops, and convenience stores.
Fast charging options at up to 500kW will be available for cars and light commercial vehicles, with multi-megawatt options buses and heavy vehicles. Car fast-charging will take approximately 10 minutes.
New solar farms will power the forecourts and “multi-megawatt batteries” will provide grid services, which will drive down charging prices to levels similar to home and destination charging.
Toddington Harper, chief executive at GRIDSERVE, said the intent was to make charging EVs as easy as using existing filling stations.
“The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome, and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost.
“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focussed, brand new Electric Forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative,” he said.
Construction at the first sites at York and Hull is to start later this year.