It may not yet have hogged the mainstream headlines, but in December 2020 the brainchild of a far sighted clean energy entrepreneur came to fruition as The world’s first fully Electric Forecourt® opened in Braintree, Essex.
The inspiration of GRIDSERVE CEO Toddington Harper, it is the first of a projected 100 such facilities planned over the next 5 years, as GRIDSERVE look to implement their “sun to wheel” infrastructure throughout the UK, enabling drivers of electric vehicles (EV) to enjoy the same hassle free travel experience currently taken for granted by the still vast majority of road users-internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers- but at a lower cost!
“Sun to wheel” is GRIDSERVE’s carbon net zero offering, through the Electric Forecourt® network that is set to challenge the hegemony of the traditional petrol station model well in advance of the impending ban on petrol and diesel vehicles, due to take effect in 2030.
An exciting development, one which will surely stir the interest of even the most diehard “petrol head”, the Braintree complex boasts recharging points for up to 36 vehicles, thus eliminating the need for unnecessary delays, but there is also a host of other benefits on site that will provide a relaxing and enjoyable environment in which to spend quality time whilst your vehicle is speedily recharged.
Booths, the high end supermarket chain based in Northern England, have made their first foray in to the south by opening an outlet here! Likewise, W H Smith and Costa Coffee are on hand to provide nourishment to both mind and body! There is also, most conveniently, a POST OFFICE branch, open 7 days a week. Gourmade the Chichester based luxury ready meal outfit who’s “Live More, cook less” motto strikes a chord, completes the retail line up.
There is also fast, free WIFI, a “dedicated kid’s area”, business meeting pods, and a “wellbeing space” complete with exercise bikes that generate electricity!
Upstairs GRIDSERVE have an area where the latest EV Models are showcased, part of their Lease Offering, backed by Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions (HVCS). There are 300 new models predicted to hit the market in the next 5 years, so the choice of EV is ever expanding, and if you do make the decision to go for an EV with GRIDSERVE they will plant 100 Trees on your behalf, whilst delivering your new vehicle direct to your door!
However, there is a hidden component to this state of the art facility. STS teamed up with the main building contractors ESS Modular Build https://issuu.com/radarcommunications/docs/vol_mag_40pp_iss_1_web?e=15424601/64704172 and main Tiling Contractor, Aston Crean (https://astoncrean.ie) to enable specification and supply of the STS 22mm NoMorePly TG4 Floor Board https://nomoreply.co.uk/tg4-floorboard/ This ensured the speedy installation of the A1 fire rated, weatherproof, direct to joist and floor ready boards. Branded by STS as The Ultimate Surface®, these boards are engineered utilizing an environmentally friendly process, tying in perfectly with the GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt® aspirations!
This new outlet certainly gives credibility to GRIDSERVE’s stated purpose of delivering sustainable energy to move the needle on climate change, and with these forecourts set to be springing up nationwide, it seems a key step has been taken to enhance the appeal of transferring over to EV travel sooner rather than later.
With Transport Secretary, Rachel Maclean recently announcing plans to invest £1.3 billion in EV charging infrastructure, it feels like this is the right time to be leading the way in this field.
STS are delighted to have had an integral part in this breakthrough, and we are looking forward to being involved in the ongoing exciting developments in the near future!
So, pull up at the Electric Forecourt ® at your leisure, knowing there will be a slot to recharge your EV readily available for you. Insert the charger, and then stroll into this bright and aesthetically pleasing edifice, and as you step on the high quality tiled flooring to grab your cappuccino before heading upstairs to eyeball the latest high-end EV models on show (and maybe put in a few energetic minutes on one of the bikes) remember The Ultimate Surface is just under your feet!