Gridserve has opened its first Electric Retail Hub as part of a partnership with Dobbies Garden Centres.

The partnership is a UK-first between Gridserve and the major garden centre retailer, with more than 10 locations planned across the UK.

Dobbies Swindon has five dual charging units, which allow two cars to charge at once at Medium Power speeds, for a longer stay at the location. There are also two High Power chargers for a quick top up for those passing on the nearby A419. The hub features 12 charging bays to ensure space for all visitors including two accessible bays to support both larger vehicles and disabled customers.

To make it as easy as possible for customers to charge their electric vehicle, the Dobbies Swindon Electric Retail Hub features CCS and CHAdeMO connectors as well as AC sockets, accepts contactless payment and provides real-time status updates to popular EV charging maps. The chargers are powered by 100% net zero carbon energy, supporting Gridserve’s and Dobbies’ purpose to address climate change.

Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, said: “We’re thrilled to bring the first Dobbies location to customers in Swindon. This is a great location that is well positioned to support those charging while using the garden centre, as well as those passing on the nearby A419, which links Cirencester and Swindon to the M4. This type of convenient local charging is the key to widespread adoption of electric vehicles and we’re so pleased to work with Dobbies here. We’re looking forward to delivering many more locations, both with Dobbies and across the UK’s major road network in 2023.”

Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, said: “We know that our customers care about sustainability and more UK drivers are switching to electric vehicles. We’re really pleased that we’re providing customers, commuters, tourists and local Swindon residents, with easy access to affordable and fast EV charging.

“This partnership with Gridserve demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our customers environmentally-friendly solutions, and contributes to our Sustainable Dobbies journey. We are very proud to be the first garden centre retailer to work with this forward-thinking company and look forward to welcoming electric vehicle drivers as we roll out this service throughout 2023.”

The Electric Retail Hubs are a new offering alongside the Electric Super Hubs at motorway service areas Gridserve’s Electric Forecourts in Norwich and Braintree, with a third due at Gatwick Airport later this year.