Gridserve reveals plans for the UK’s Electric Highway
In the UK, Gridserve has just revealed its expansion plans for the Electric Highway charging station network along British highways and trunk roads. These plans include the installation of 50 high power charger (HPC) hubs.
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Gridserve recently took over the Electric Highway charging station network from green energy provider Ecotricity. Now, more than 50 ‘Electric Hubs’ are planned for the network, which will be called Gridserve Electric Highway after the acquisition, each with six to twelve high-performance charging points with a capacity of up to 350 kW each. The blueprint for the new Electric Hubs will be the service area near the town of Rugby, where 12 CCS HPCs were inaugurated in April alongside twelve Tesla Superchargers. Later this year, Electric Hubs will be installed at Reading East and West, Thurrock, Exeter and Cornwall Services service areas.
In addition, nearly 300 more fast chargers are to be installed at service stations, with which Gridserve aims to cover 85 per cent of the UK’s freeway service stations. Also planned are 100 planned HPC fast-charging parks called Electric Forecourts.
Apart from the plans for new charging stations, in the six weeks since taking over the Highway project, Gridserve has so far already installed new columns with more than 60 kW capacity at more than 50 sites in the “old” network. The entire network of nearly 300 old Ecotricity chargers at more than 150 locations on highways and Ikea stores is scheduled to be renewed by September.
The company says that the overarching goal is to create a reliable UK-wide network so that drivers have no fears concerning range or charging, irrespective of where they live in the UK and whatever type of electric vehicle they drive.
In order to be able to handle the investment of more than £100 million (116 million euros), Gridserve has brought another investor on board, The Rise Fund, in addition to existing investor Hitachi. The Rise Fund manages assets of more than 5.5 billion US dollars, but the exact investment in Gridserve has not been disclosed.
Update 25 July 2021: The hardware supplier for the Electric Highway expansion plans in the UK has now been confirmed: it is ABB. With multi-million pound investment, ABB’s 350 kW ultra fast chargers are to be installed at 50 of the new HPC charging hubs, with between six and twelve charging units at each site. In addition, a further 300 60kW fast chargers are to be installed at 150 existing sites that Gridserve has acquired from Ecotricity to provide greater reliability.