Gridserve celebrates 50 new EV charging hubs in 2023

Electric vehicle (EV) charging hub developer Gridserve has broken ground at the 50th UK location this year and stated that it has plans to open dozens of additional sites.

Gridserve celebrates 50 new EV charging hubs in 2023

Pictured: Gridserve's first 'Electric Forecourt' in Braintree, Essex

The business announced today (30 August) that, since the beginning of the year, it has begun construction at 50 sites which collectively host more than 400 rapid EV charging points.

These 350kW charging points are the fastest on the UK market at present. They are able to provide a full charge to the fastest-charging models in around ten minutes, helping to overcome range anxiety and avoid journey delays for motorists.

Gridserve is developing charging hubs at motorway service stations, given the UK Government’s ambition of each motorway service area hosting six rapid EV charging points by the end of 2023.

It is also developing more than 30 ‘Electric Forecourts’ for places where drivers will park for longer, including London Gatwick Airport, Plymouth and Gateshead.

In addition to the 400 charging points already open or in development, Gridserve has stated that it has plans to add hundreds more within the next year.

Delivering hubs is not always easy, a key challenge being delays in connecting EV chargers to the grid. To help overcome this challenge, Gridserve is trialling a temporary microgrid for its hub the Moto service station in Ferrybridge. The microgrid features a battery pack made using second-life car batteries. This will store and discharge energy produced using a generator fed with hydrotreated vegetable oil.

Gridserve chief executive Toddington Harper said that it is “critical to continue to increase the pace” of EV infrastructure development in the UK.

In a recent report by Recharge UK, it was noted that there are more than 40,000 public EV charge points in the UK, serving approximately 2% of vehicles on the road. However, EV numbers are projected to increase by 80% by 2030 to reach 11 million, prompting the need to expedite the deployment of charging stations.

Charging ahead

Zapmap recently published an update on the number of operational public EV chargers in the UK.

This confirmed that there are now 46,000 in place. The majority are not rapid, but rapid chargers are taking off, with three-quarters of UK regions having installed at least 100 of them within the past year.

Installation increases were steepest in Yorkshire and the Humber, which grew its rapid charger stock by 55% year-on-year. Other leaders in installation included Northern Ireland (32% year-on-year increase) and Scotland (27% year-on-year increase).

The South West, meanwhile, lagged behind – as did the East Midlands and West Midlands.

All in all, there are now 42% more rapid chargers in operation in the UK than there were at the beginning of the year. Slower chargers are also being installed at a pace; total charger numbers are now 23% higher than at the start of 2023.

Zapmap’s chief operating officer Melanie Shufflebotham said: “Essential for supporting electric vehicle drivers on longer journeys, it is encouraging to see that [rapid chargers] are being installed across the country, particularly in erstwhile poorly served areas of Wales, Northern Ireland and the north east.”

Comments (2)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Build the charging hubs—fine!!
    But what serves the hubs–the power stations!
    A word on hydrogenated vegetable oil, it is a drop in the ocean.
    In perspective, all the petrol/diesel fuel that is displaced, has to be generated principally by gas at the power station. And hydrogen requires power for its manufacture.
    Are there specific plans to build more power plant; and if so is it to be fossil, or the CO2-free nuclear–wind is not reliable enough.
    Not just a simple “plug it in”.
    A complex to generate this power, free of CO2, reliably and in greater amounts than is at present possible will be essential, I do not see it on the horizon.
    Not easy, not easy at all!

    1. Neil Fairless says:

      First fossil fuel powered car in the UK, 1884.
      First Model-T introduced in the US 1908, range 200 miles but only 155 of paved roads in the the entire country.
      First public petrol station in the UK 1919. Up til then you had to personally import petrol from Russia.
      Personally I don’t think motor cars will ever catch on, far too hard to implement. You’ll never replace the horse and cart, fuel on every path verge and stream.
      As for flying to the moon or stars, well, that’s another story 😉

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