Construction will begin this year on a network of ‘electric forecourts’ which claim to make electric vehicle charging as easy as using petrol stations.

Gridserve is planning a UK-wide network of more than 100 forecourts in the next five years supplied by clean, low-cost energy from new solar farms in a £1 billion programme.

Each electric forecourt will have dedicated zones for both private and fleet vehicles, such as taxis, buses, delivery vehicles and heavy goods vehicles.

It will take less than 30 minutes to charge most vehicles, and during this time drivers will be able to take advantage of facilities including a coffee shop, fresh food, convenience supermarket and airport-style lounge with high-speed internet.

Construction is scheduled to start on the first sites later this year including at York and Hull, where Gridserve is building the UK’s most advanced solar farms.

“We plan to make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations,” said Gridserve CEO and founder Toddington Harper.

“The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome, and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost.

“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focussed, brand new electric forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative.”

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Gridserve

Gridserve is also developing an app to support the driver experience at each electric forecourt which will help people to plan journeys better, reserve charging slots and pay for ancillary on-site services such as car washing.

The app will also play a central role in loyalty and referral schemes that will reward people with ‘road miles’ for using onsite services provided by Gridserve and its partners including ChargePoint Inc.

Christopher Burghardt, MD Europe at ChargePoint, said: “The electric mobility revolution is upon us and ChargePoint continues to work to help create an open and accessible network that enables drivers to enjoy an effortless charging experience everywhere they live, work and play throughout Europe.

“ChargePoint is committed to collaborating with partners like Gridserve to build out the EV charging network of tomorrow and make driving electric vehicles more accessible and seamless than ever.”

Gridserve’s £1bn programme is one of 11 in a £5bn portfolio of energy and infrastructure projects across the UK which the Department for International Trade has selected to promote to global investors.