British green energy company Ecotricity has just sold its charging network to Gridserve. The company had previously taken on upgrading the Electric Highway, one of the oldest fast-charging networks in the UK.
The announcement follows an agreement in March for Gridserve starting to revamp the charge points for Ecotricity. Today, Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said the Electric Highway needed “serious funding”, which Gridserve could offer.
With Gridserve taking over entirely now, the company will replace all the existing chargers on the Electric Highway network with new technology that features contactless payments. Improvements also involve replacing all existing charging stations with new multi-chargers (CCS, CHAdeMO and an AC charging option) with completion scheduled this summer.
The second step involves upgrades to up to twelve high-power charging points with a capacity of up to 350 kW at each location. A start was the installation of the first high power charging facility at Moto’s new flagship Motorway services at Rugby, featuring 12 x 350kW chargers in April. The site also boasts a dozen Tesla Superchargers. The 350kW chargers installed at the forecourt mark a huge step forward from the 7kW chargers installed on the network ten years ago.
Electric Forecourts coming up
Gas station operator Moto was a founding member of the Electric Highway and had deepened its commitment to the network again in May when announcing plans for a surge in ultra-rapid charging. Moto will install a further 24 HPC units at Reading, Thurrock and Exeter. By the end of the year, 28 Moto sites are set to have ultra-rapid chargers. By 2022, Moto says it will have at least six ultra-rapid chargers at every UK site as part of a long-term, £100 million investment programme. This includes upgrading all existing 50kW chargers by the end of this July for greater charging power ahead of increased ‘staycation’ traffic. Whether this will become part of the Electric Highway was unclear at the time of writing.
However, while not stated specifically in today’s communication, the previous reporting suggests Gridserve could continue to serve as a technology partner for Moto. The company signs primarily responsible for energy management and supply but targets building 100 so-called Electric Forecourts across the UK.
As previously reported, each of the planned 100 Gridserve locations is expected to include up to 24 ultra-fast charging bays, with the batteries able to support maximum charging requirements simultaneously. The promoters go as far as to say the station will eventually be capable of handling 500 kW high power charging capacity and options for buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles.
Ecotricity wants to use the proceeds of the sale of the EV charging network to advance a series of projects, including several new subsidy-free solar and battery storage plants.
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