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£1bn programme to build 100 solar-powered electric charging stations

electric forecourt

British sustainable energy company Gridserve has announced plans to install 100 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations capable of charging electric vehicles in just 10 minutes.  

The sites will similar to petrol station forecourts and will powered by solar panels. They will be able to charge most vehicle types, including electric delivery and heavy goods vehicles.

The 500kW bays will able to charge light vehicles in between 10 and 30 minutes.  

The forecourts will have their own solar panels, but most of the energy will come from offsite solar farms and energy storage facilities which Gridserve will also construct.

The first of these solar farms is already under construction near York. 

Gridserve chief executive and founder Toddington Harper said the new charging stations will help address fears about travel distance between car charges. 

“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focused, brand new electric forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative,” he said.  

“Within five years we plan to have more than 100 Electric Forecourts in use, with each supported by solar energy and battery storage. This infrastructure will accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, serve the grid, and help the UK meet climate and clean air targets.” 

Arup has assisted with the design of the forecourts, which will have airport-lounge style facilities and shops to use while vehicles are charging.  

Arup senior consultant and lead designer Ricky Sandhu said a transition to more sustainable transport is vital. 

“It is vitally important that we transition quickly to sustainable, clean new modes of transportation and energy production,” he said. “Arup is extremely proud to be supporting Gridserve in their mission to provide state-of-the-art, sustainable, new electric charging infrastructure – the electric forecourt – for our growing populations.”  

Gridserve’s £1bn programme is one of 11 in a £5bn portfolio of energy and infrastructure projects across the UK which the Department for International Trade has selected to promote to global investors.  

Earlier this month, the ICE called on the government to look at implementing a “pay-as-you-go” roads system to support the transition to electric vehicles. 

Construction of the first electric forecourt is expected to start later this year.  

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