Gridserve has announced partnerships with big name retailers ahead of completing in November its first high-powered EV charging forecourt near Braintree, Essex.
Brands including WH Smith, Costa Coffee and Booths will join forces at the charging station, while the firm has also struck agreements with the likes of the AA, Tesla and vehicle leasing firm Hitachi Capital.
The Electric Forecourt will allow 30 electric vehicles to charge simultaneously. Swiss-Swedish technology giant ABB will provide 24 high-power chargers, suitable for all EVs currently on the market. Of the 24 chargers, 12 deliver up to 90kW, the other 12 deliver up to 350kW. The remaining six are Tesla superchargers.
The site has a 6MWh battery storage system that can store up to 24,000 miles of charge from the grid. This allows the site to store energy while it is at its cheapest and provide it to EVs during the day at lower cost to customers, according to Gridserve. The site also has a 5MW bi-directional grid connection.
Gridserve has a £1bn plan to roll out more than 100 sites over the next five years, with Hitachi Capital and Innovate UK providing some funds. Planning applications for two sites in Uckfield and Norwich East have been submitted.
Gridserve also develops standalone battery storage and hybrid solar storage parks. it recently acquired the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm, the Clayhill Solar Farm in Bedfordshire from Anesco to ensure that the energy used at the Braintree site comes from a zero-carbon source.
Meanwhile, it plans to work with Hitachi Capital to provide EV infrastructure and generation solutions where required to its corporate customers under a Hitachi banner.
As fast charging reduces the life of Li-ion batteries, what effect will it have on the second hand sales value of the cars that use them? And what kind of battery storage will be in the 6 MW static storage at each site? Perhaps a mix of Li-ion and vanadium redox flow like the Oxford Energy Park?