Gridserve’s electric forecourt advances

Council chiefs in Braintree in Essex have boosted electric vehicle charger developer Gridserve‘s plans to build its first electric forecourt in the town.

The scheme has won preliminary planning backing and the full council looks set to look favourably on the project when it comes before them next week. The project has so-far received only one objection from local residents.

The forecourt will be set out just like a petrol station, with a shop and 24 ultra-fast chargers powered by solar panels on the roof. It will be located close to the A120 and Stansted Airport, next to the Horizon 120 Business and Innovation Park.

The first chargers to be installed will be 350kW, but the forecourt will have the ability to be upgraded to faster 500kW chargers when they become available. There will also be distinct charging bays for fleet vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, private cars and delivery vans.

Vision

Gridserve’s Braintree project is the first of 100 forecourts that the company is planning to build across the UK. Construction is scheduled to begin before the end of the year (2019).

Gridserve currently has 80 forecourt sites at various stages of development and around seven of these are in the pre-planning phase, with plans to get a small handful of projects into construction before the end of the year. As well as Essex, Gridserve is hoping to start construction on projects in York and Hull.

The full 100-site forecourts project is expected to cost £1 billion (€1.1bn US$1.3bn) and Gridserve is currently considering a range of funding options. Lenders are on board for the first handful of projects, although contracts still need to be signed.

Earlier in the year, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with US EV charging solutions developer ChargePoint to provide some of the infrastructure and support at the planned Gridserve sites.

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