Britain’s first electric forecourt coming to Essex

The first electric forecourt dedicated to charging EVs will open in Braintree, Essex this November – and 100 more are planned across the UK.

It will be equipped with a combination of high power chargers compatible with every electric vehicle currently on sale in the UK.

The Essex site will also be home to retailers including Costa Coffee, WHSmith, Post Office, Booths and Gourmade.


Gridserve is behind the electric forecourts. CEO Toddington Harper said they 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”.

Compared to traditional filling stations, the Gridserve concept offers a “radically improved customer experience, designed for the modern age”.

The two-storey building has retail sites on the ground floor, with a waiting lounge with free wifi, washrooms, kid’s area, wellbeing area and business meeting room pods above.


ABB will provide 24 chargers, 12 of which will be 350kW ultra rapid chargers, giving up to 200 miles’ range in 20 minutes.

There will also be six Tesla Superchargers.  

This format will be followed on other Gridserve electric forecourts planned across the UK – and it may even be enlarged to feature more EV chargers in the future.

The company says it has secured exclusivity at 100 sites alongside busy routes. Planning applications for two more sites at Uckfield in East Sussex and Norwich East have already been submitted.

“This electric forecourt is a step-change for e-mobility,” said ABB’s Frank Muehlon.

“Our cutting-edge charging infrastructure will deliver unrivalled charging speeds, enabling people to charge any type of electric vehicle with ease and as fast as the vehicle will allow.”

Every electric forecourt will be powered by zero-carbon solar energy and equipped with battery storage units.


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