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UK’s first all-electric car charging forecourt opens in Essex

The first all-electric car charging forecourt has opened for business in Braintree, Essex, to charge electric vehicles with 100% renewable energy.

The first all-electric car charging forecourt has opened for business in Braintree, Essex, to charge electric vehicles with 100% renewable energy.

The electric charging forecourt will deliver 350kW of charging power – enough to add 200 miles of driving range in 20 minutes – to up to 36 cars at a time. They are also using clean energy sourced from one of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farms at Clayhill in Bedfordshire, overhead solar canopies, and a battery capable of storing enough energy to drive 24,000 miles.

It is the first of more than 100 electric forecourts that Gridserve, a clean energy company, plans to roll out across the country over the next five years as part of a billion-pound “sun-to-wheel” infrastructure.

Not only do they offer charging, but super-fast wifi, and stand alongside a range of “Best of British” shops including WH Smith and Booths as well as Costa Coffee and the Post Office. Some will offer business meeting pods, a children’s play centre and a “wellbeing area” with exercise bikes that generate electricity.

Toddington Harper, Gridserve’s founder and chief executive, said he hoped to update the traditional petrol station model for a net zero carbon world by offering drivers the confidence to replace their fossil fuel car with an electric alternative.

“Charging has to be simple and free of anxiety,” he said.

The standard rate for charging up at a Gridserve electric forecourt will be 24p per kilowatt hour of clean electricity, which beats the current lowest ultra-high power charging rates. This means a typical charge for an average electric vehicle – from 20% charged to 80% – would cost under £10.

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