Japanese giant has invested £5.6m so far; UK firm's first solar-powered site set to open in summer
Felix Page Autocar writer
30 April 2020

Japanese technology giant Hitachi has invested several million pounds into British electric vehicle charging firm Gridserve as part of a move to speed up the mass adoption of EVs in the UK. 

The ongoing investment, which so far stands at £5.6 million, will support the development of Gridserve's nationwide network of dedicated charging stations, with the first of its planned 100 sites set to open this summer. The two firms are also collaborating on plans for an electric bus network and financial incentives for EV buyers.

The first site to be built as part of the Gridserve's £1 billion scheme, near Braintree in Essex, will offer space for 24 vehicles to charge simultaneously at a rate of up to 350kW from its supercharger devices. 

The company claims that customers will be able to charge within 20-30 minutes at first, but that waiting times will reduce as battery technology evolves. Currently, the only vehicle on sale that can charge at 350kW is the Porsche Taycan, with the Tesla Model 3’s 250kW compatability making it the second fastest.

Gridserve’s charging stations will be powered by a combination of roof-mounted solar panels, separate solar farms and integrated battery storage units, which, it claims, will ensure “carbon emission targets can be met, whilst also keeping prices low”. 

Like a conventional motorway service station, the 2.5-acre Braintree facility, just off the A131, will contain a small supermarket, coffee shop and lounge area with wi-fi and meeting rooms.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Back to top

It will also feature an ‘education centre for electric vehicles’ aimed at helping customers to “understand, test drive, and secure vehicles that are most suitable for them, with the ultimate aim of providing the confidence and support to transition to an all-electric future”. 

Gridserve says it’s targeting locations that are near busy roads, towns, cities and major transport hubs for its charging stations. The firm hopes to have a nationwide network fully operational within the next five years, in line with the UK government’s bold plan to ban the sale of new combustion-engined cars by 2035.

The project has been partly funded by a £4.86m grant from Innovate UK, a government-backed agency that offers financial support to UK-based technology developers. 

Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, said: “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. 

“Many more people want to buy electric vehicles but are worried about how to charge them. We will help solve that challenge and deliver the confidence needed to make the switch to electric transport.

“This will be the most advanced charging facility in the UK, and possibly the world. Drivers will be able to turn up and charge their vehicle at the fastest rate each vehicle can support, using 100% renewable energy, and with the best possible charging experience.”

Read more

Analysis: How UK will keep EVs charging​

EDF acquires charging firm Pod Point​

Major EV report calls for charging firms to allow 'roaming'​

Join the debate

Comments
19

10 March 2020

 I do hope they are build as quick they hope.

10 March 2020

While the infrastructure is woeful there is money to be had making 'premium' charging stations as many EV's are premium too the drivers will be evaluated as being able to pay the prices. But it aint going to be cheap here, from the coffee to the kWh's

10 March 2020

Infrastructure is in place for 90% of people 90% of the time already what with houses having there electricity supply at around 30% of the price, would you pay £3.30 a litre for petrol?  Yes there's a growing need for these places but demand won't be a problem due to improvements in tech and BEV's slow growth

Basically ask a current LEAF or Zoe owner what percentage of their power comes from a commercial road-side supplier.

10 March 2020
xxxx wrote:

Infrastructure is in place for 90% of people 90% of the time already what with houses having there electricity supply at around 30% of the price, would you pay £3.30 a litre for petrol?  Yes there's a growing need for these places but demand won't be a problem due to improvements in tech and BEV's slow growth

Basically ask a current LEAF or Zoe owner what percentage of their power comes from a commercial road-side supplier.

What total bollocks you spout, 90% of the population do not have a facility to charge an EV at home or at work, and to claim they do is a lie, unless of course you can prove otherwise. Vast swathes of inner city dwellers dont have access to off street or designated parking spaces, what about the thousands of resident living in tower blocks or multi occupancy appartment complexes? 

30 April 2020
And all the modern style housing estates with no driveways but carparks remotely located and pretty much impossible to run power from your house to your parking space.

30 April 2020
Citytiger wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Infrastructure is in place for 90% of people 90% of the time already what with houses having there electricity supply at around 30% of the price, would you pay £3.30 a litre for petrol?  Yes there's a growing need for these places but demand won't be a problem due to improvements in tech and BEV's slow growth

Basically ask a current LEAF or Zoe owner what percentage of their power comes from a commercial road-side supplier.

What total bollocks you spout, 90% of the population do not have a facility to charge an EV at home or at work, and to claim they do is a lie, unless of course you can prove otherwise. Vast swathes of inner city dwellers dont have access to off street or designated parking spaces, what about the thousands of resident living in tower blocks or multi occupancy appartment complexes? 

OK so maybe not 90% but a big percentage of people do have access to elecricty on their  driveway or going forwards at work or supermarkets etc.  People like you seem to think unless 100% of drivers find BEV acceptable then it's a fail, unless of course  Volvo start making sub £40k EV's of course. 

10 March 2020

 Motobility are the second biggest fleet of cars on the Planet (US Army is first) and yet they don't offer much choice in EV cars.

10 March 2020

Great for Braintree, great for Essex..............we will need many more of this facilities before 2035!

 

10 March 2020

Why bother with the integrated battery storage units? I realise that this makes the whole facility independent, but the cost of the batteries and losses associated with charging / discharging must undermine efficiency.  I would have thought it cheaper and greener to sell off excess power to the grid during daytime, and import it back again during nightime (and most days during winter).

Or maybe that's happening anyway, but they have chosen not to mention it?  

11 March 2020

The potential to charge 24 cars at 350KW would put a serious load on the grid. Using battery storage helps to smooth the demand and also provide energy back to the grid if required. In addition, the batteries can be fully charged overnight with cheaper electricity. As the market moves more to the use of renewables for generation of electricity (e.g. wind/wave/solar) there will need to be greater use of energy storage to support the grid during periods of higher demand or lower generation e.g. dull, windless days.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week