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The UK’s first EV-only service station is here and it’s a peek into the future

This is the future, take a good look

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Earlier this year, ground was broken on the UK‘s first motorway service station designed specifically for electric vehicles. Despite a small delay, it’s now finished and ready to open to the public next week.

If you’re curious as to what it all looks like and how it works, the good folks over at EV advocate channel Fully Charged got a first look at the Grideserve station in Braintree, Essex.

As we’ve covered before, the service station will be able to charge 30 EVs at the same time, and has chargers with a peak power output of 350kW. In other words, it should have enough power to fast charge EVs that aren’t even released yet.

Indeed, as you’ll see in the video, future proofing its chargers was a key focus for Gridserve, the company behind this EV charging station.

Plenty of renewable energy tech has gone into Gridserve’s Essex location, and hopefully it’ll serve as a model for future motorway services.

Alongside the solar panels that are used to create a canopy for the chargers, there’s also a 60 acre field full of solar panels not too far away. Those panels generate 10 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That’s enough energy from the suns rays to power 5,000 electric cars for a year.

In other words, 10 gWh is enough power to charge 5,000 EVs for all their energy needs and driving for 12 months.

The service station also has a 6,000 kWh battery storage system. To put that into context, Gridserve CEO Toddington Harper says this is enough energy to power 24,000 miles of electric driving.

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While there aren’t any other locations being built right now, Gridserve says it has plans to open hundreds more around the UK. Fingers crossed that it does, because the UK will need them.

gridserve, ev, charging, motorway
Credit: Gridserve
The location is capable of fast-charging up to 30 EVs at 350 kW. Gridserve has also purchased a nearby solar farm to supply the facility. Hopefully service stations like this will crop up on the UK’s motorways the length and breadth of the country.

As gasoline vehicles are set to be banned in the country from 2030, locations like Gridserve will become a common sight on roads up and down the nation.

Even though infrastructure is improving — a couple of months ago, the UK installed its 20,000th EV charging point — it’s a way off being perfect. To see locations like Gridserve open up should allay concerns of range anxiety and not being able to charge your EV on long trips.

It’s a good step in the right direction, but now, we just need a lot more of them all over the country. This is the future, so take a good look.


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Published December 4, 2020 — 09:44 UTC