The EV experience facility delivers charging technology and hopes to pave the way for mass EV adoption ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.
The new compact electric forecourt hosts 36 EV chargers, including 22 high-power chargers with up to 350kW of power – stated to be the fastest chargers commercially available today. Each is capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in five minutes.
Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, commented on the announcement in a statement: “The widespread transition to electric vehicles, powered by sustainable energy, is a key part of what’s needed (for climate action).
“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. (…) 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.”
The new forecourt aims to provide a solution for drivers looking to switch to an EV despite lacking the ability to charge at home. Businesses hoping to electrify their fleets are also targeted.
The Norwich electric forecourt more than doubles the number of high-powered chargers in the region. Norwich and the wider east of England region currently have comparatively low EV charger coverage compared to other regions in the UK.
It also hopes to help EV drivers access the city centre and improve connections to surrounding areas such as Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough.
Gridserve’s electric forecourts
The announcement is the latest in a series of milestones as Gridserve attempts to streamline its EV services and offerings. Their forecourts have been demonstrated to increase EV 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.
The project was constructed with funding from Novuna, a UK financial services company.
Robert Gordon, CEO Novuna, commented on the importance of the project for consumers and businesses eager to access EVs: “It is a remarkable project and a gamechanger for people and businesses in the area interested in transitioning to electric vehicles powered by clean energy.”
Broadland District Council portfolio holder, councillor Jo Coppleston, added: “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.”
The Norwich site forms part of Gridserve’s £1 billion ($1.3 billion) UK-wide investment being rolled out into its charging infrastructure network. It is open to anyone, regardless of if they own an EV.
EVs account for a small proportion of cars on the road in Norwich, which has recently received government funding to assess the viability of a zero-emission zone in the city.
This assessment comes via a bid to cut air pollution from the city centre. If the plan goes ahead, all petrol and diesel vehicles could be banned, making emission-free EVs essential.