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First electric car charging forecourt opens in Essex with space for 36 EVs

Time 6 months ago

Meeting room pods, a Costa Coffee and electric generating exercise bikes are available for motorists to use at the UK’s first forecourt for electric cars.

The site in Braintree, Essex, opens today and can offer charging for 36 cars simultaneously.

There’s also a WH Smith, Post Office and waiting lounge at the site run by start-up firm Gridserve.


The company said its chargers use net zero carbon energy by utilising solar power and plans to open more than 100 of the charging stations across the UK over the next five years in a £1bn programme.

The site offers the following chargers:

  • 12 DC Chargers – up to 350kw
  • 12 DC Chargers – up to 90kw
  • 6 AC Chargers – up to 22Kw
  • 6 TESLA Superchargers

Gridserve founder and chief executive Toddington Harper claimed the project will help ‘move the needle on climate change’.

He said: ‘It’s our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution.

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‘However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our electric forecourts entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today.’

Last month, Boris Johnson brought forward the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to 2030 as part of his ‘green industrial revolution’.

Concerns have been raised about whether the charging infrastructure will be able to support the subsequent rise in electric vehicles.

James Cleverly, a government minister and MP for Braintree, said: ‘Our government is committed to increasing the take-up of electric vehicles, to clean our air and enable us to achieve net zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible, which is why we have just brought forward the ban on new petrol or diesel to 2030.

‘Gridserve’s electric forecourt, close to Braintree, is the most advanced charging facility in the world and is pioneering the world-class infrastructure required to support our policies and drive the confidence we need to make the move to sustainable transport in the UK.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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