Gridserve Electric Highway launches to revolutionise EV charging across UK
Gridserve has launched its Gridserve Electric Highway brand, uniting its various public charging solutions under a single UK-wide entity as it looks to revolutionise the EV charging experience.
The news follows Gridserve’s acquisition of the Electric Highway network from Ecotricity in June and the new brand includes almost 300 rapid chargers installed on the network and covering 85% of the UK’s motorway service stations.
The Gridserve Electric Highway will also encompass a network of more than 50 high-power ‘Electric Hubs’, which will be delivered at motorway sites across the UK, and 100+ Gridserve Electric Forecourts, due to arrive in the next five years.
The plan is to create a UK-wide network that people can rely on, without range or charging anxiety, wherever they live in the UK.
Already, in the six weeks since it acquired the Electric Highway network, Gridserve has installed new 60kW+ chargers at over 50 locations. The entire network of almost 300 Ecotricity chargers, covering more than 150 locations on motorways and Ikea stores, is on track to be replaced by September. This will enable any type of EV to charge with contactless payment options. Gridserve will also double the number of simultaneous charging sessions by offering dual charging from single chargers.
As well as this, Gridserve – which won the Innovation in EV Technology title at this year’s Fleet World Great British Fleet Awards – will deliver more than 50 high-powered ‘Electric Hubs’ at motorway sites. Each will feature 6-12 x 350kW chargers. The first one went live in April at Rugby Services, providing a bank of 12 x 350kW Gridserve Electric Highway chargers alongside 12 x Tesla Superchargers, acting as a blueprint for future sites. More than 10 new Electric Hubs are planned for this year, starting on motorways by Reading (East and West), Thurrock, Exeter and Cornwall Services.
The Gridserve Electric Network will also encompass more than 100 Electric Forecourts, exemplified by the recently opened site at Braintree, Essex. The cutting-edge EV charging stations are all focused on low-cost, ultra-fast charging, backed by renewable energy and a convenient, driver-focused experience.
All sites will continue to charge on a price per kWh of energy used basis. For Electric Hubs, this stands at 30p per kW – enabling a typical EV to add 200 miles of range for as little as £15 – while Electric Forecourts will charge 24p/kWh, equating to £12 for the same level of charge. All chargers are supported by net zero solar energy delivered by a network of grid-scale hybrid solar farms.
Further announcements include a UK-wide interactive charging map and a customer charter that commits the Gridserve Electric Highway to being ‘Greener, Responsive, Inclusive, Dependable, Safer, Everywhere, Revolutionary, Value, Experience’.
The plans are being supported by a new investor, The Rise Fund – operated by global private investor TPG – alongside shareholder Hitachi Capital UK Plc, with whom Gridserve has developed a net-zero EV leasing service.
CEO Toddington Harper said: “Gridserve’s purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and the Gridserve Electric Highway – a network of easy-to-use, reliable, rapid and high power chargers right across the UK – is doing just that, eliminating charging anxiety and making driving electric an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience.
“We’re working at a phenomenal pace to rollout cutting-edge charging infrastructure and will continue to move heaven and earth to install new chargers en-masse in as many locations as we can, and as quickly as possible.”
Welcoming the announcement, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As we accelerate towards cleaner and greener transport, I’m delighted to see Gridserve leading the charge in the EV charging revolution. The UK Government has already set out plans to invest £1.3bn in accelerating the roll out of charging infrastructure, targeting support for rapid chargepoints on motorways and major roads to erase any anxiety around long journeys. Couple this with forward-thinking projects like the Gridserve Electric Highway, and there has never been a better time to go electric.”