Electric car owners could soon charge their vehicles in as little as ten minutes as plans for 100 ultra-fast “Electric Forecourts” are unveiled.
Solar energy company Gridserve wants to make charging an electric vehicle “as easy as using petrol stations”, and is building a network of charging stations to “accelerate the electric vehicle revolution”.
The £1bn programme, promoted by the government in the UK’s first Energy Investment Portfolio, aims to build 100 sites, with construction beginning in York and Hull starting this year.
What is most impressive is the speed at which Gridserve says drivers will be able to recharge their vehicles. According to the company, it will take “less than 30-minutes to charge most vehicles”, but will also have the option of 500kW batteries for cars and light commercial vehicles, offering “less than 10-minute charge times”.
Speeding up electric vehicle charging
One of the barriers for electric car adoption is the perceived inconvenience of stopping to recharge vehicles, with the popular Nissan Leaf taking six hours to charge the 7KW battery. By delivering a network of charging points around the country offering the option of rapid charging, electric vehicle recharging becomes as convenient as filling up a fuel-powered car.
The Electric Forecourts will be powered by solar energy and will include 24 ultra-fast charging bays, allowing both private and commercial vehicles to recharge using multi-megawatt batteries.
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Despite electric cars being vital to lowering fossil fuel emissions and ambitious plans for 50% of cars to be electric by 2030, there is currently a lack of charging points, with Emu Analytics predicting that numbers would have to increase six times to meet demand by 2020. Therefore, an investment in charging infrastructure is necessary.
Gridserve is also developing an app to make it easier for drivers to plan journeys around electric vehicle charging points and reserve charging slots, lowering the risk of being stranded without a means of recharging.
The Electric Forecourts will also have a range of facilities including “a coffee shop, fresh food, convenience supermarket, and airport-style lounge with high-speed internet”.
Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said:
“We plan to make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations. The latest generation of electric vehicles are awesome, and ready for mainstream adoption, but drivers still worry about if or where they can charge, how long it will take, and what it will cost.
“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focussed, brand new Electric Forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative.”