Gridserve has submitted a planning application to build an ‘Electric Forecourt’ in Braintree, Essex, the first of more than 100 sites it proposes to develop across the UK with the aim to make charging an electric vehicle (EV) as easy as using a petrol filling station.

The company claims Braintree Electric Forecourt, located next to the planned Horizon 120 Business & Innovation Park, will offer the world’s fastest charging rates, charging a typical EV in less than 30-minutes. The location of the forecourt will offer direct access to major link roads, while also capturing both regional and last mile travel for homes and businesses.

The application includes 24 ultra-fast charging bays, a coffee shop, convenience store, and an airport-style lounge with high-speed internet, which will also serve as an education centre and hub to explore a broad range of EV solutions. The site will have dedicated zones for private and fleet vehicles, such as taxis, buses, delivery vehicles and heavy goods vehicles.

Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, commented: “A large number of affordable EVs are coming to-market, and we’re about to see a steep growth curve in EV adoption. By developing this state-of-the-art Electric Forecourt in Braintree, we’ll be supporting Braintree District Council and the UK to tackle air pollution, encourage low-carbon transport, and meet climate targets, while also offering a solution that’s future proofed to support the mass uptake of electric vehicles.

“Braintree is in the unique position of being the first of over 100 sites across the UK to host a Gridserve Electric Forecourt. Every site will be powered by batteries and supplied by solar energy. With convenient, dependable, ultra-fast charging, we’re making charging an EV as easy as using petrol stations.”

John McKee, cabinet member for corporate transformation at Braintree District Council, said: “We’re delighted that Gridserve is looking at a site next to Horizon 120 to locate their very first ‘Electric Forecourt’ which will not only serve the businesses relocating to our park, but also all the residents in our district thinking about switching to green energy.

This eco-friendly facility fits in with our vision for the park – to create a forward-looking business community with emphasis on long-term sustainability and future proofing to facilitate modern ways of living and working. All these contemporary amenities set within a landscaped, quality environment will make Horizon 120 the place to work and to do business now and in the future.”

Gridserve plans to submit further planning applications at more than 100 additional Electric Forecourt across the country. Location permitting, the company will also build new solar farms adjacent to Electric Forecourts, which will supply their electricity directly. Gridserve is also developing several large solar farms, supported by batteries, to supply energy via the grid for the remaining sites.

The company says it expects to submit planning applications for several additional Electric Forecourt sites, in particular in York and Hull, adjacent to two solar farms which are also being constructed by Gridserve.