Plans this week have been unveiled for a £1 billion programme, led by Gridserve, to create more than 100 Electric Forecourts which will house ultra-rapid EV charging hubs for electric car drivers.
The first location to see the site break ground will be in Braintree, situated close to major routes and featuring 24 ultra-rapid chargers, a coffee shop, and supermarket. The site will have dedicated zones for private drivers and fleet users.
The new breed of filling stations is set to be powered by 100% renewable electricity. The Electric Forecourts will include 350 kW charge points, with options to upgrade to 500 kW and 1 MW charging for buses and heavy goods vehicles. The sites will be able to support maximum charging speeds across the units, even when vehicles are being charged simultaneously.
Gridserve is also investing in the infrastructure required to support these hubs, with solar energy capacity included within the plans, capable of providing low-cost energy, and helping kept charging costs down. Battery energy storage will be on site to act as a buffer for when all chargers are being used at maximum power at the same time.
The new hub will be located at the Horizon 120 Business & Innovation Park, planned for Great Notley, Braintree. Planning applications are set to be submitted to the authorities for more than 100 Electric Forecourt sites already secured on main routes across the country, including supporting power supply systems.