The fastest public auto charger in the UK has been installed by GRIDSERVE at Braintree Electric Forecourt and is now open to the general public for the first time in the UK. It can add around 100 miles in less than 5 minutes and can deliver a maximum output of up to 360 kW. While this is not a huge jump from the already fast 350 kW charging system that is available at GRIDSERVE Electric Super Hubs and Electric Forecourts, it is an upgrade nonetheless.
EV charging infrastructure is crucial for the adoption of electric vehicles, while fast charging and convenience play an important role as more drivers switch to EVs. The continued investment and expansion of the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway are helping to facilitate a smooth and convenient transition to EV adoption.
The most recent development in public charging is appropriate for all EV drivers thanks to two CCS connectors with lengthy cables, contactless payment, and easy access for wheelchair users. Its location on the site also makes it possible for HGVs and vehicles pulling caravans to charge with no trouble. This ABB Terra 360 charger is being installed as an experiment for GRIDSERVE to evaluate this cutting-edge technology, which, if successful, might become a standard at Electric Forecourts and Electric Super Hubs on the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway.
Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with GRIDSERVE to bring our latest innovation in high-power charging to the UK market. The Braintree Electric Forecourt represents the future for the UK consumer e-mobility experience, and we are proud to be supporting GRIDSERVE on this milestone launch.”
With this most recent upgrade, the Braintree Electric Forecourt, one of the most technologically advanced EV charging stations in the world, can now charge 36 EVs at once. Visitors to the location can test drive the newest EVs, look into discounts from GRIDSERVE Car Leasing, and learn more about living with and charging an electric car in addition to the on-site amenities and retail options.
Also, Braintree Electric Forecourt has started testing the next generation of High Power EV chargers and is doing so in an all-new charging bay that’s been designed to specifically serve long-load and light commercial electric vehicles.
The goal of GRIDSERVE is to construct more than 100 Electric Forecourts. Construction is already underway at London Gatwick Airport Electric Forecourt, which is scheduled to open in 2023. In addition to those that have already been completed in Braintree and Norwich. Additional approval is being given for Electric Forecourts at Bromborough, Plymouth, and Markham Vale, and the next planned locations are Stevenage, Gateshead, and Uckfield.
The new 360kw charger is called the ABB Terra 360 and has the ability to add around 62 miles of range in three minutes or fully charge an electric car in less than 15 minutes. The new charger offers dynamic dual-charging, meaning it can handle two vehicles plugged in and charging simultaneously, as the EV charger will dynamically distribute the power between both vehicles.
The overall layout is friendlier to users. A new pulley system ensures the retractable 5m charging wire is maneuverable and keeps routes clean, while expanded digital screens will show all of your EV charging information. LED lights will now indicate when a charger is available or in use.
The particular unit now being tested at Braintree has two CCS connectors with plans to offer both CCS and CHAdeMO connector types for High Power DC charging in the near future. Every one of the EV chargers accepts memberless, contactless payment and runs entirely on net zero carbon energy.
In the past year, the number of light commercial electric cars frequently charging at locations like the Braintree Electric Forecourt has increased significantly, such as the Ford E-Transit in the image. The major justification is that the economics are currently more than favorable: in terms of cost, performance, and utility, electric light commercial vehicles are now fundamentally superior to their diesel-powered counterparts.
As more electric family cars are used to pull everything from horseboxes to trailers, more room is required for them to charge without decoupling. GRIDSERVE is proactively creating EV charging experiences that work for everyone because this trend is only going one way.
Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “It is fantastic to have the UK’s first 360kW capable charger open to the public at Braintree Electric Forecourt. By installing this latest innovation now, we are offering state-of-the-art charging technology to our customers. It can be used with a variety of electric vehicles including HGVs and cars towing caravans. We’ve listened to driver feedback that our towing customers needed additional space to charge without decoupling and this new charger installation has given us the opportunity to provide that charging area at Braintree Electric Forecourt. GRIDSERVE is committed to providing the best charging experience for all EV drivers and we hope to support more drivers in making the switch to electric vehicles.”
Electricity for the Braintree Electric Forecourt is powered by solar canopies over the chargers and a network of hybrid solar farms run by GRIDSERVE both contribute to the site’s electricity production. For instance, the location is partnered with 10 MW-capable Clay Hill, the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm. A 6 MWh battery is also on-site at the Electric Forecourt, which helps to balance the system around it and direct energy to the times of day when it is most economical.
While the 360 kW charger is the first to be open to the public in the UK, it won’t be the last. There will be more powerful units available in the near future, maybe a 375 kW or a 400 kW, or maybe even higher. At any rate, more available charging locations will be required and it looks like GRIDSERVE is going to be offering many locations throughout the UK to help serve the need.
Also, the locations are really nice. At the Braintree Electric Forecourt you’ll find a local Post Office, Costa Coffee, M&S Food, and WHSmith, as well as office pods, a lounge area with free WiFi, exercise bikes, and a children’s zone plus a picnic area for when the sun is shining.
Note on their current pricing, due to the ongoing energy crisis, they have raised the pricing on their high-power EV charging to 66p/kWh, the price of medium-power charging has gone up to 65p/kWh, the cost of their low-power charging has gone up to 49p/kWh, and the cost of the GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt went up as well to 64p/kWh.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Latest CleanTechnica TV Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.