UK: Gridserve completes ‘Electric Highway’ upgrade
Gridserve and Ecotricity have completed the major upgrade of the Electric Highway in the UK. The partners say they have now replaced all legacy motorway chargers on the network along UK freeways and trunk roads.
The Electric Highway comprises 300 chargers which are now fast, reliable and connected, so Gridserve. The company did not provide data but says the new chargers provide “medium-power”, likely around 50 kW. These new stations also offer contactless card payment, 24-hour support, real-time status updates, etc.
Gridserve had agreed to take over Ecotricity’s network in June 2021 and the upgrade took no more than ten months.
At the time, they also announced a second step to upgrade up to six or more high-power charging points with a capacity of up to 350 kW at each location. In today’s news, Gridserve provided another update on these new HPC hubs it had been working on since last December. Three sites, each with at least six HPC charging points, are in operation, and nine more facilities are under construction.
Those stations open are in Swansea, Exeter and Burton-in-Kendal, where users can charge up to 350 kW. The sites are on major arterial routes in south Wales, south-west and northwest England, so Gridserve, where 24 new chargers can deliver up to 100 miles of range in less than 10 minutes to those travelling to or passing through the locations.
Green power company Ecotricity created the original Electric Highway network in the early days of electric vehicles. The 350kW chargers installed at the forecourt mark a considerable step forward from the 7kW chargers installed on the network ten years ago.
Gridserve has pledged in 2019 to open 100 Electric Forecourts in the UK by 2025. One is open at Braintree in Essex, another is scheduled to open at Gatwick Airport in autumn 2022, and another in Norwich. Gridserve says it has already received planning permission for more sites, including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Bromborough.
The Electric Highway comprises chargers at over 130 motorway service areas run by Extra, Moto, Roadchef, Welcome Break and Westmorland.