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Gridserve launches first EV charge station plus leasing offer

Date: 07 December 2020   |   Author: Simon Harris

A new purpose-built EV charging station, with bays for up to 36 vehicles, has been opened in Essex by Gridserve, which is also offering an EV lease package.

The Gridserve station, located off the A131 at Great Notley, and is intended to be the first of more than 100 so-called Electric Forecourts being built by Gridserve over the next five years.

The company says the new charging sites will provide people with the confidence that the UK will have the charging infrastructure required for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.

Its £1bn UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience, which delivers 'net zero' EV driving at a cost that's lower than driving petrol or diesel vehicles.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, said: "Today's [Monday's] announcement represents a major milestone in achieving Gridserve's purpose to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change.

"It's our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution.

"However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we've designed our Electric Forecourts entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today - a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars

"Together with our charging-included electric vehicle leasing business, that we are also launching today in partnership with Hitachi Capital, people now have the full confidence to make the transition to an electric vehicle, knowing that charging is in-hand, and it's actually less expensive to use an electric car than a petrol or diesel alternative."

Many of the chargers at the Braintree site are capable of delivering 350kW of charging power to vehicles capable of accepting it, allowing 200 miles of EV range to be added in 20 minutes. The cost of the electricity at launch is 24p/kWh - which would mean a typical charge from 20% to 80% capacity costs around £10 - although the company plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in future.

Next to the forecourt is a building containing a Costa Coffee, WHSmith, Post Office and Booths at ground level, with a lounge area on the upper level, including meeting rooms for hire, work stations and exercise bikes.

GS-EF-Braintree -103

The design will be replicated at other Electric Forecourts when they open.

In partnership with Hitachi Capital, Gridserve has also launched Gridserve Electric Vehicle Solutions, claimed to be the UK's first net zero electric vehicle leasing business. The service is designed to bring the cost of driving electric well below that of petrol or diesel cars, and minimise the environmental impact of EVs.

Net zero carbon energy is included in monthly leasing payments, meaning drivers can charge at Electric Forecourts without paying any additional costs.

The company claims this removes a key barrier to mass EV adoption, enabling people to accurately compare the cost of leasing a petrol or diesel vehicle, plus fuel, with an electric vehicle with fuel included.

It could also work out cheaper than home charging, and is expected to appeal to drivers in the local area who would otherwise find it difficult to charge at home.

Gridserve has partnered with a tree planting organisation, which will plant 100 trees for every electric vehicle leased through the service. This helps to minimise the carbon emissions from supply chain processes, such as manufacturing.

Harper added: "Together with our Solar Farms and Electric Forecourts, Gridserve Electric Vehicle Solutions completes our 'sun-to-wheel' infrastructure designed to deliver net zero carbon transport from 2020 onwards. By including the planting of 100 trees for every electric vehicle leased through the service and providing net zero carbon energy to charge all the vehicles, we're making EV driving greener, cheaper and more straightforward than ever before."

Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital UK, said: "Our partnership with Gridserve is a total game-changer for electric mobility. Not only are we providing electric vehicles at some of the most competitive rates on the market, but we are at the same time developing a network of rapid, reliable and renewably powered Electric Forecourts® that will fast-track the electric vehicle revolution in the UK as we prepare for a zero-carbon future."

Gridserve and Hitachi Capital plan to offer electric vehicles from all major vehicle manufacturers. At the time of launch, available brands include Audi, BMW, DS, Mercedes-benz, MG, Mini, Nissan, Renault, and Volkswagen.