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Gridserve acquires Electric Highway charging network from Ecotricity

Green energy firm Ecotricity has sold its Electric Highway charging network to Gridserve for an undisclosed amount.

Toddington Harper, CEO, Gridserve. Pic credit: Gridserve

Founded a decade ago as the world’s first national charging network, Electric Highway initially provided 7kW charging at motorway services. It’s said to have played a pivotal role in kickstarting the UK’s EV revolution, enabling early adopters to charge across the country.

The acquisition furthers the two firms’ existing partnership – in March 2021, sustainable energy company Gridserve took at 25% stake in the Highway and pledged to transform EV charging facilities on Britain’s motorways ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. Since then, 12 Electric Highway 350kW ultra-rapid charge points have gone live at Moto’s Rugby Services – marking the first high-power Electric Highway installation.

Following the acquisition, Gridserve said it’s ramping up investment in the Electric Highway with the replacement of all the existing chargers on the network with new technology that features all the latest advances including contactless payment.

Toddington Harper, CEO, Gridserve, said: “It’s a real honour for Gridserve to have been chosen by Ecotricity as the organisation to take the Electric Highway forward in its next phase. Our purpose is to #deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and the upgraded network will provide the confidence for millions more people to make the successful transition to electric vehicles in the earliest possible timeframes.”

The Electric Highway acquisition is the latest venture for Gridserve, which opened its Electric Forecourt in Essex recently; the first in a network of more than 100 cutting-edge EV charging stations, all focused on low-cost, ultra-fast charging, backed by renewable energy and a convenient, driver-focused experience.

Gridserve – which won the Innovation in EV Technology title at this year’s Fleet World Great British Fleet Awards – has also partnered with Hitachi Capital to launch a ‘UK-first’ net zero electric vehicle leasing business.

Ecotricity added that the sell-off would enable it to focus on its core energy business to “push new boundaries”, while ensuring that the future development of the Electric Highway network enables it to fulfil fast-rising charging demands in the run-up to the 2030 ICE ban.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, commented: “We’ve reached an interesting point in the electric car revolution, exponential growth is just around the corner, the technology for charging has evolved with one standard and an incredible rate of charging now being possible – using an electric car is almost on a par with using a fossil-powered car, where you can just top up once every week or two.

“And the Electric Highway needs a growth spurt, to make sure that it stays ahead of driver demand and continues to play its key role, as the network that delivers more miles every year than any other. For this the Electric Highway needs an owner with access to serious funding and real commitment to the cause – I’m delighted to have found the ideal company to hand the baton to, in Gridserve.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.