A well overdue overhaul of the UK’s charging network
The UK’s charging network is getting a thorough revamp, ensuring that travelling up and down the country in an EV will be easier and quicker.
Ecotricity and Gridserve have announced a new partnership that will see charge points across the UK upgraded to provide a better charging experience.
The process will see capacity at chargers doubled via the introduction of all three connection types - CCS, CHAdeMo and AC - while contactless payment will also be incorporated. The companies look set to introduce six to twelve rapid 350kW chargers to future-proof some charging locations.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said:
I’m a fan of Gridserve’s Electric Forecourt concept, their vision and passion in this space. To be able to work together to make sure the Electric Highway continues to lead the electric car revolution in Britain is an exciting prospect. The Electric Highway kickstarted Britain’s electric car revolution – one decade ago this summer – and together with Gridserve we have big plans for the second decade and the end of fossil powered cars.
Toddington Harper, CEO or Gridserve, added:
I’ve been driving an electric vehicle for eight years, and the Electric Highway was the network that originally made that possible. It’s therefore a huge privilege for myself and Gridserve to take a role alongside Ecotricity in the next evolution of the Electric Highway.
First introduced in 2011, the UK’s ‘Electric Highway’ was designed to make long-distance EV driving possible. However, due to advances in electric car technology, these chargers have become quickly outdated.
At their time of installation, many drivers were charging at home via three-pin plugs, while a conventional 7kW charger was seen as fast. However now, homes can be fitted with 7kW chargers, while public points have increased in charge speed to 50kW, 150kW and - in some locations - 350kW.
Not only that, but electric vehicle batteries have grown in size resulting in longer charge times - something exacerbated by slower chargers.
Gridserve has taken a 25 per cent stake in the Electric Highway which will result in its bringing its own technology and expertise to the network.