The UK’s first 100% electric forecourt is nearing completion and scheduled to open in November.

Major brands, including WH Smith, Costa Coffee, Post Office, Booths, Tesla, the AA, Gourmade and ABB, have teamed up with Gridserve to help deliver this 21st Century vision of making electric vehicle (EV) charging as simple and stress free as using petrol stations, but with a radically improved customer experience.

The first in a £1bn nationwide network of over 100 Electric Forecourts will open near Braintree in Essex.

Financed by Gridserve with Hitachi Capital UK PLC and Innovate UK, 30 EVs will be able to be charged simultaneously with rapid chargers that can deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling electric car drivers to add 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes.

In addition to six Tesla Supercharges, there will be 24 chargers – half of which can deliver up to 350kW of power – provided by Swiss-Swedish technology giant ABB.

While vehicles charge, drivers will be able to relax and shop in a state-of-the-art facility that will cater for all their needs.

The two-storey building houses a waiting lounge, free superfast Wi-Fi, high-end washrooms, dedicated kids’ and wellbeing areas, and business meeting room pods.

On the ground floor, a comprehensive retail space, operated by WH Smith, will include a coffee shop, convenience supermarket, as well as fresh and frozen food.

“The UK’s first Electric Forecourt®, represents so much more than an electric equivalent of a modern petrol station – it will deliver a fully loaded customer experience, offering the Best of British retail and customer service to cater for a full range of consumer and driver needs,” said Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, commented: “Innovations like Gridserve’s electric charging forecourt are ensuring more and more people around the country have access to charging infrastructure and retailers enrolling in partnerships like this are supporting the move towards an electrified future.

“The UK already enjoys access to one of Europe’s most comprehensive charging networks, with over 33,000 public chargepoint connectors at more than 12,000 locations across the UK.

“The network is set to go from strength-to-strength as continued investment from both private companies and the government enables rapid expansion, making it even easier for electric motorists to top up on the go.”

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