Gridserve Glory: Changing the Face of EV Charging

How green is your courier work? If you’ve already switched to an EV (electric vehicle) good for you! If you haven’t, you’re probably at least considering it – or thinking that one day soon you’re really going to have to start considering it…You’ve also probably heard concerns about the lack of infrastructure in place for EVs, in terms of recharging stations, but it’s heartening to see that there’s finally some very positive news. Soon, topping up an EV might be nearly as easy and convenient as filling up your tank with petrol.

Gridserve: Global Energy on a Mission

With the announcement of their intention to roll out more than 100 Electric Forecourts, global energy company Gridserve’s mission to make electric vehicle charging as accessible and convenient as filling up with petrol or diesel has brought music to the ears of EV drivers across the UK – particularly those who use their vehicles for courier work.

Electric Forecourts

With strategic locations already in place for the first 80 Electric Forecourts, work is set to begin across the country within the next 12 months. They’ve been designed to replica the traditional service station, with all the same facilities in place, including a supermarket, coffee shop, grocer and a lounge featuring an education centre for all things EV. For anyone doing courier work, the provision of these services means that while your vehicle is charging, you can be taking your mandatory rest break, grabbing a bite to eat or simply taking some much-needed downtime.

The Forecourts will be designated with special areas for both private and commercial vehicles, and you’ll be able to reserve a bay ahead of time if you’re on a tight schedule. Even if you don’t reserve a slot, the queuing system will ensure waiting times are minimised.

Service Specs

Every location will include up to 24 bays, each fitted with batteries to support super-fast maximum charging power.
The ChargePoint chargers will serve up to 500kW for cars and smaller vans, with multi-MW options for larger vehicles.
Every site will be powered by completely renewable energy generated by Gridserve-built solar farms. These farms will also provide energy to the National Grid to generate profits.
An App for That

As well as all the onsite facilities at every Electric Forecourt, Gridserve has begun development on an app which will be particularly useful to commercial operators doing haulage or courier work. The app will feature access to a loyalty scheme, route planning, booking of charging slots and a method of paying for onsite services.

A Five-Year Plan

The company’s five-year plan is to roll out 100 of the charging stations around the UK. Each will be self-supporting, using its own solar energy-powered batteries. With so much hype and anticipation surrounding a widespread switch to EVs, the move is sure to be welcomed by members of the courier work industry.

The lack of access to charging stations while out on the road has been a major roadblock to many operators weighing up making the switch to electric or hybrid vehicles, but with climate and emissions targets in the spotlight, the decision to go cleaner and greener just got a little easier.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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