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First UK electric forecourt set to open with FS outlets

Gridserve has announced multiple new partnerships with leading retail, service and technology giants to deliver a “world-class” customer experience at the UK’s first Electric Forecourt, due to open near Braintree, Essex, this month.

The retail partners, including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, the Post Office, Booths, and Gourmade (frozen foods), alongside world class charging infrastructure partners ABB, Tesla, and customer support from the AA, have teamed up with Gridserve to help deliver its vision of making electric vehicle charging as simple and stress free as using petrol stations, but with a radically improved customer experience, designed for the modern age.

Toddington Harper, Founder and CEO of Gridserve, said, “Our UK-wide network of over 100 customer-focused Electric Forecourts® will eliminate range and charging anxiety by making it easier and cheaper to charge an electric vehicle than to fuel a petrol or diesel alternative.

'The UK’s first Electric Forecourt, represents so much more than an electric equivalent of a modern petrol station – it will deliver a fully loaded customer experience, offering the Best of British retail and customer service to cater for a full range of consumer and driver needs.”

The Braintree site will be the first of over 100 sites to be built in the next five years, as part of a £1bn programme to help make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience.

The Electric Forecourt has been financed by Gridserve together with Hitachi Capital UK PLC and Innovate UK. 30 electric vehicles can be charged simultaneously with high power chargers that can deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes, and much faster in the future as battery technologies within the cars mature.

While vehicles charge, drivers will be able to relax and shop in a state-of-the-art facility that will cater for all their needs. The two-story building houses a waiting lounge, free superfast Wi-Fi, high-end washrooms, a dedicated kid's area, wellbeing area and business meeting room pods.

On the ground floor, a comprehensive retail space, operated by WHSmith, includes a coffee shop, convenience supermarket, as well as fresh and frozen food.

Well known, quality brands, including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Post Office, Booths, and Gourmade have partnered with Gridserve to deliver a world-leading “Best of British” retail and customer experience.

Toby Keir, Managing Director at WHSmith Travel said, “At WHSmith, we have been serving customers on their journeys for over 200 years and we understand how important convenience is to people on the go.

'We’re therefore delighted to be partnering with Gridserve’s Electric Forecourt to deliver a new first-class retail experience, with fantastic service and a tailored product offer. It’s a great concept and we look forward to playing our part over the next hundred years with the future of electric cars.”

Edwin Booth, Executive Chairman at quality supermarket chain, Booths, said, “We’re excited to work with Gridserve to deliver on our one simple aim – to sell the best food and drink available, in attractive stores, staffed with first class assistants.

'As a family-owned retailer with sustainability baked into our core, we couldn’t think of a more fitting opportunity to continue our journey into the South of England.”