See inside UK’s first-ever service station for electric cars only

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Toddington Harper, Founder and CEO of GRIDSERVE at the launch of the UK's first

Toddington Harper, founder and chief executive of Gridserve - Credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

This Braintree service station is the UK’s first ever forecourt exclusively for charging electric cars - offering a tantalising glimpse into how our green future might look. 

The futuristic-looking Gridserve site - which has space for 36 cars to be charged simultaneously - has a waiting lounge, meeting room pods, a WHSmith, Costa Coffee and a Post Office for people to spend their time in comfort as they wait for their vehicles to charge. 

While filling up your car with petrol takes a matter of minutes, electric vehicles take currently take a little longer to charge - so the comfortable space for people to wait, work and socialise will be welcome to many travellers. 

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Presenter Robert Llewellyn at the launch of the UK's first Electric Forecourt, E

Robert Llewellyn at the launch of the UK's first electric car forecourt in Braintree - Credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

For those getting a bit fidgety, there are even electricity-generating exercise bikes for motorists to use while their car batteries are being charged. 

The chargers on the forecourt also use net zero carbon energy, by making the most of solar power. 

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Brian Cooke, from Essex is one of the first customers to charge his electric car

Brian Cooke, from Essex, is one of the first customers to charge his electric car at the newly-opened Gridserve, the UK's first electric car forecourt - Credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire


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Gridserve founder and chief executive Toddington Harper said the project will help “move the needle on climate change”. 

The government has said it will ban the sale on new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 to 2040 as part of its “green industrial revolution” - but there are fears whether charging infrastructure is in place to support a rise in electric vehicles. 

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Vehicles are charged outside of the newly opened GRIDSERVE, the UK's first Elect

Vehicles using the new electric car service station in Braintree - Credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

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However, Mr Harper said: “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution. 

“However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our electric forecourts entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today.” 

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Vehicles are charged outside of the newly opened GRIDSERVE, the UK's first Elect

Vehicles using the new electric car service station in Braintree - Credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire

Braintree MP and government minister James Cleverly said: “Our government is committed to increasing the take-up of electric vehicles, to clean our air and enable us to achieve net zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible, which is why we have just brought forward the ban on new petrol or diesel to 2030. 

“Gridserve’s electric forecourt, close to Braintree, is the most advanced charging facility in the world and is pioneering the world-class infrastructure required to support our policies and drive the confidence we need to make the move to sustainable transport in the UK.” 

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