GRIDSERVE, the tech-enabled sustainable business that runs the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway – one of the UK’s leading electric charging networks, has opened a new state-of-the-art Compact Electric Forecourt® in Norwich.
The first-of-its-kind EV experience facility delivers the latest charging technology, supplied by 100% renewable energy, and helps to pave the way for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.
The new Electric Forecourt® is one of the most advanced EV charging facilities in the world, hosting 36 EV chargers, including 22x high-power chargers with up to 350kW of power – the fastest chargers commercially available today, capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in only five minutes. The Norwich site forms part of GRIDSERVE’s £1 billion UK-wide investment being rolled out into its charging infrastructure network and is designed to deliver the best possible charging experience. It is also open to everyone, whether they are EV drivers yet or not.
The Norwich Electric Forecourt® more than doubles the number of high-powered chargers in the region,[i] providing essential charging infrastructure that delivers drivers the confidence to go electric. Norwich and the wider East of England region currently have comparatively low EV charger coverage compared to other regions in the UK – hosting just 29 chargers per 100,000 people compared to the UK average of 42 per 100,000 people, or 102 per 100,000 people in London.[ii] The result is that currently EVs only account for a small proportion of cars on the road in the Norwich area. In addition to this, Norwich received government funding to assess the viability of a zero-emission zone in the city in a bid to cut air pollution from the city centre.[iii] If the plan goes ahead, all petrol and diesel vehicles could be banned from the city, making emission free electric vehicles essential.
The Norwich Electric Forecourt® also provides a great solution for drivers looking to switch to an EV who don’t have the ability to charge at home, and for local businesses in the area looking to switch their fleets to electric. It will also help EV drivers to access the city centre and improve connections to surrounding areas such as Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough.
GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourts® have also been demonstrated to increase electric vehicle uptake in surrounding areas. Since the company opened the world’s first Electric Forecourt® in Braintree, Essex in 2020, the district has seen a significant uptake in EV registrations, growing by 82% – more than double the UK’s average rate of EV growth.[iv]
More than just great charging, Norwich Electric Forecourt® is an EV experience destination, where visitors without electric cars can find out more about them, and chat with impartial EV Gurus about charging or vehicle leasing options, whilst enjoying well-known brands including Costa Coffee, M&S Food, and WHSmith, along with super-fast WIFI and bookable meeting pods. In the coming weeks, visitors will also be able to test drive the latest in electric cars from the biggest brands, all in one place thanks to GRIDSERVE Car Leasing. To celebrate the launch of Norwich Electric Forecourt®, GRIDSERVE is also now offering 1000 miles of free charging for every car they lease until the end of June (terms and conditions apply).[v]
Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE said: “This decade is crucial for climate action and it’s vital that we deliver the solutions that will move the needle on climate change. The widespread transition to electric vehicles, powered by sustainable energy, is a key part of what’s needed. Giving drivers the confidence to switch to an electric vehicle and enabling a widespread transition away from fossil fuel vehicles is a central aim of our Electric Forecourts®. That’s why we have put the consumer at the heart of our design, with our Electric Forecourts® serving the needs of local communities in their transition to electric vehicles. Norwich Electric Forecourt® showcases a brand new design, where we have been able to provide both charging and a great customer experience in a smaller footprint than our first site at Braintree. By elevating the facilities above the chargers, we make the best use of the space available and are able to deliver a great EV experience without compromise, even when space is at a premium and sites are more constrained.”
The project was constructed with funding from Novuna. Robert Gordon, CEO Novuna, one of the UK’s leading financial services companies commented: “We are delighted to have supported GRIDSERVE in delivering the Norwich Electric Forecourt®. It is a remarkable project and a game changer for people and businesses in the area interested in transitioning to electric vehicles powered by clean energy. Projects like this really make a difference in providing the confidence people need to become electric vehicle drivers”.
Broadland District Council portfolio holder, Councillor Jo Copplestone said: “Protecting the environment for future generations is a priority for Broadland District Council. We’re quickly moving towards a future where driving an electric vehicle will be the norm and for this to happen, the public must be supported with reliable and affordable charging solutions. As we look towards a zero-emissions future, GRIDSERVE’s new Electric Forecourt® is a great boost for the district and the region and will help the area accelerate our transition to cleaner transport.”
Norwich Electric Forecourt® – located at Broadland Gate Business Park in Postwick, NR13 5HB, adjacent to the A47 – hosts 22x high-power chargers with up to 350kW of power, eight Tesla Superchargers and six low power AC chargers to cater for every type of EV. GRIDSERVE continues to accelerate its rollout plans with additional Electric Forecourts® now in progress, including one at Gatwick Airport. Several additional Electric Forecourts® also have planning permission including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Stevenage with more than 30 additional sites also under development as part of the company’s commitment to deliver over 100 Electric Forecourts®.
[i] https://www.zap-map.com/ There are currently fewer than 10 high powered EV chargers over 100kW in the region around Norwich – GRIDSERVE’s new forecourt has 22 chargers that are over 350kW, more than doubling the amount of high powered chargers in the area.
[v] Terms and conditions apply. Visit us in store at the Electric Forecourt for details.