U.K. Gets First Solo Electric Charging Station

The all-electric service station opened Monday in Essex, England.

December 09, 2020

ESSEX, England—Britain’s first all-electric service station opened Dec. 7, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently unveiled plans to push out combustion engine vehicles in 2030, Bloomberg reports.

The Essex station is the first of 100 electric-only stations planned by Gridserve and Hitachi Capital U.K. PLC. The stations are part of $1.35 billion program to put electric charging stations across the United Kingdom. Each station will have 36 rapid chargers powered solely via renewable energy.

Gridserve is updating “the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and is delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today—a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban,” said Toddington Harper, founder and CEO.

In the U.K., sales of battery-powered electric vehicles skyrocketed 122% in November from a year earlier, while hybrid sales jumped 77%, according to recent industry data. Currently, much of the EV charging infrastructure has been added in Europe and China, with North America remaining a distant third in public chargers, although California has a more robust network. The electric vehicle (EV) market in the United States is expected to flourish with government incentives driving EV ownership, according to a recent report.

The Gridserve electric station uses electricity from solar panels resting on canopies above the chargers and from a group of hybrid solar farms. A 6 megawatt-hour battery on site provides balance to the local grid and stores power for peak time usage. A typical charge for the average-size electric vehicle will cost under 10 pounds (US$13.35) for a 20% to 80% charge.

NACS and the Fuels Institute offer resources to help convenience and fuel retailers navigate their opportunities. NACS is working with organizations focused on deploying EV charging infrastructure to ensure that NACS members can take advantage of opportunities to expand into this fast-emerging market. This program is open to any NACS member interested in entering the electric vehicle charging market. For more information and to participate, visit www.convenience.org/EV.

The Fuels Institute Electric Vehicle Council is focused on delivering valuable resources to the market. For more information on what the council is doing and how retailers can get involved, visit www.fuelsinstitute.org/EVCouncil. For insight into the electric vehicle market and the demands for charging infrastructure, download the 2020 Fuels Institute report “Electric Vehicle Market: Focus on Charging” at www.fuelsinstitute.org.

Read more about the U.S. EV market in “The Future of Mobility Includes Electric” in the June 2020 issue of NACS Magazine.