Ahead of November opening for trail-blazing EV charging station, Gridserve confirms leading retail chains are set to open outlets at the new electric forecourt in Essex
Drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) will be able to buy a Costa Coffee, pick up a newspaper at WHSmith, and do a quick grocery shop at high end supermarket Booths, all while recharging their car's battery, at the UK's first forecourt for electric vehicles.
Gridserve, the firm behind the project, said the newly announced partnerships mean drivers will have a "world class customer experience" when they stop in at the aptly-named Electric Forecourt, which is slated to open in Braintree, Essex in November.
Alongside charging infrastructure partners ABB and Tesla, customer support will be provided the AA, which this week announced plans for a new dedicated EV support service.
The Post Office and luxury frozen foods brand Gourmade have also signed up to be involved with the project.
Toddington Harper, founder and chief executive of Gridserve, said the project marked the first step in a national roll out of fast charging infrastructure. "Our UK-wide network of over 100 customer-focused Electric Forecourts will eliminate range and charging anxiety by making it easier and cheaper to charge an electric vehicle than to fuel a petrol or diesel alternative," he said.
"The UK's first Electric Forecourt, represents so much more than an electric equivalent of a modern petrol station - it will deliver a fully loaded customer experience, offering the best of British retail and customer service to cater for a full range of consumer and driver needs."
The forecourt will have the ability to charge up to 30 electric vehicles simultaneously with chargers that deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes, with that time expected to be cut as battery technologies within the cars mature.
The forecourt is part of a £1bn programme to help make driving EVs more convenient and stress-free. Gridserve is one of a growing band of companies investing in the development of fast charging infrastructure, which is widely regarded as critical for enabling EVs continued move into the mainstream.
Toby Keir, managing director at WHSmith Travel, said the company were "delighted to be partnering with Gridserve's Electric Forecourt to deliver a new first-class retail experience".
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