Electric Highways opens UK’s largest EV motorway charging station

Ecotricity and Gridserve have opened the UK motorway network’s largest high-powered EV charging station, kick-starting the their Electric Highway joint initiative.

The site in Rugby is the first new motorway services of any kind to be opened in the UK for 13 years. It’s fitted with 12 ultra-rapid 350kW chargers, provided by Gridserve and Ecotricity.

According to the firms, these chargers have the capacity to add up to 200 miles of electric range in around 10 minutes. They offer all three connection types – CCS, Type 2 AC and Chademo – and accept contactless card payment.

A further 12 chargers will be added to the Rugby site at a later date, as part of the partnership between the two firms, through which Gridserve has taken a 25% stake in Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network.

Electric Highway founder Dale Vince said: “We began building the Electric Highway 10 years ago, and Moto [the company that owns the forecourt at the Rugby site] were one of our founding partners.

“Back then, state-of-the-art charging was just 7kW, and here we are today at 350kW in just a decade. This is our very first high-powered installation, and this new technology comes just at a tipping point in the adoption of electric vehicles.”

The station, which follows the launch of the UK’s first EV-specific forecourt by Gridserve in December, is part of a wider push by Electric Highway to improve the UK’s charging infrastructure.

To this end, Gridserve and Ecotricity plan to open similar sites in Reading, Thurrock and Exeter by the end of 2021.

Moto, moreover, intends to have 28 sites with ultra-rapid chargers by the same date. It aims to bring at least six rapid chargers to every Moto station by the end of 2023.

Earlier this year, senior car industry figures, including the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, called for a “massive investment” in EV charging infrastructure in order to meet increased demand ahead of the UK’s planned 2030 ban on the sale of all new ICE cars.