Gridserve raises £200m to boost EV charging in UK
EV infrastructure firm Gridserve has secured a £200m investment from Infracapital (about €237m). The company intends to invest fresh capital into expanding its national charging network of so-called Electric Forecourts and Electric Hubs.
Infracapital joins with existing partners, TPG Rise and Mitsubishi HC Capital UK Plc, who have also increased their shareholding in the company as part of the Infracapital transaction. Without naming the total value, Gridserve speaks of a multi-million-pound partnership.
Toddington Harper, Gridserve CEO, said they were “excited that our plans can accelerate, and it’s evident we now have the momentum we require” with the incoming investment.
Said acceleration may be necessary. While the partners claim Gridserve remained on track to deliver at least 5,000 High Power Chargers across Electric Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts by 2025, current numbers seem less extensive.
One Electric Forecourt is open at Braintree in Essex, another is scheduled to open at Gatwick Airport this autumn, and another in Norwich. Gridserve said it has already received planning permission for more sites, including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Bromborough. Still, Gridserve pledged in 2019 to open 100 Electric Forecourts in the UK by 2025, and it appears they have some way to go.
More progress has been made in updating the EV charging network at Moto rest stops with Electric Hubs. Gridserve and Moto have inherited a longstanding partnership since Gridserve acquired Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network in June 2021. Moto had been a founding partner to Ecotricity’s advance dating back to 2013/17. Since the acquisition, Gridserve says it has invested “tens of millions of pounds” to develop the new Electric Hubs and replace the 300+ existing AC motorway chargers it took from Ecotricity. The company reported completing the upgrade in April this year.
In today’s statement, Gridserve also mentioned its sun-to-wheel approach at the bigger fast-charging sites. Solar farms generate energy on-site to at least partially power Electric Forecourts.
These sites are more extensive than hubs and built for purpose. Gridserve has teamed up with ChargePoint and engineering firm Arup to create these EV pit stops. They expect each location to include up to 24 ultra-fast charging bays, buffered by batteries and renewable energy installations. The promoters claim that stations will eventually be capable of handling 500 kW high power charging capacity and options for buses, trucks and other commercial vehicles.