Solar-powered electric forecourts will charge EVs in 10 minutes

Gridserve is investing £1bn in a new 100-strong network of solar forecourts which will recharge EVs at a rate of up to 500kW

Electric car owners will be able to recharge their vehicles in as little as 10 minutes thanks to a new network of solar-powered forecourts.

Gridserve has already secured the first 80 Electric Forecourt sites under a £1bn investment, with the first forecourts being built in York and Hull later this year.

• UK’s largest public electric car rapid charging hub installed in Milton Keynes

Eventually, there will be more than 100 sites across the UK where drivers will be able to access rapid chargers with a rate of up to 500kW. For comparison, Tesla’s Supercharger network offers a rate of 120kW, with an upgrade to 250kW on the way.

Each forecourt will feature 24 bays, with designated zones for both private and fleet vehicles. Most of these will be able to charge in less than half an hour and drivers will be able to book a charger in advance using a smartphone app.

In addition, the app will allow users to pay for on-site services, such as shops, restaurants, supermarkets and coffee.

Gridserve will also be constructing several solar farms as part of its pledge that 100 per cent of the electricity will be “green and low-cost”.

Exact pricing details for the forecourts are yet to be revealed, but the firm says they will be “competitive with and complementary to home and destination charging”.

Toddington Harper, CEO and founder of Gridserve, said the first 50 Electric Forecourts will up and running “within five years”.

• Ban plug-in hybrids from EV charging bays, say experts

He said the company wants to “make charging electric vehicles as easy as using petrol stations”, addressing drivers’ concerns over the practicalities of owning an electric car.

“We plan to eliminate any range or charging anxiety by building a UK-wide network of customer-focussed, brand new Electric Forecourts that will make it easier and cheaper to use an electric vehicle than a petrol or diesel alternative,” he added.

Do you like the sound of solar charging forecourts? Let us know in the comments below…