2 min read
14 December 2020
Last week, GRIDSERVE opened the UK’s first EV Forecourt, a service station dedicated to Electric Vehicles (EVs), located in Essex. This news has been publicised throughout the UK automotive industry.
EV Forecourt is powered 100% by renewable energy and can charge 36 EVs at the same time. There are a variety of facilities where people can make the most of the waiting time whilst charging their EVs.
Recently in the UK, the number of battery-only EVs (BEV) has started increasing rapidly.
According to the SMMT (Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders), at the end of November 2020, Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) accounted for 6.8% of new car registrations (3.0% in November 2019) and battery only EV (BEV) accounted for 9.1% (2.8% last November).
Nonetheless, this EV Forecourt is an innovative development and we can see that GRIDSERVE has thought through the needs of increasing EV users whilst achieving sustainability.
Solar panels are installed on the rooves of the EV chargers and main building, and further solar power is supplied from a solar farm in Clay Hill, which is the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm and is owned by GRIDSERVE.
Recently in Europe, including the UK, it is imperative to use sustainable power sources and this EV Forecourt reflects the initiative.
In the EV Forecourt, stationary batteries have been installed to manage peak demand and weather conditions at site, as well as balancing the local low voltage network.
As rapid chargers are installed, a typical EV charging time is 20-30 minutes, however, this is still longer than filling your tank with petrol. In order for the users to make the most of the waiting time, the main building is equipped with co-working space, individual meeting rooms, a children’s play area, café, bookshop and gym (even the exercise bikes in the gym are used to generate electricity for the building).
GRIDSERVE and its partner company Hitachi Capital announced that they would open 100 EV Forecourts in the UK and have also launched an EV leasing business.
Although at the moment this facility appears novel, it may become commonplace in the not-so-distant future.