The Electric Highway – the world’s first nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network – has today opened the UK’s largest high powered electric vehicle charging station on the UK motorway network, at Moto’s new Rugby Services. The development, featuring 24 chargers with up to 350kW of power, is part of a wider rollout to cater for the mass market transition to electric vehicles.
The project is part of a multimillion investment programme to deliver EV charging to motorway services across the UK, and is the first high power Electric Highway installation under the network’s new partnership with GRIDSERVE, which saw the company take a 25% stake in the Highway to help transform EV charging facilities on Britain’s motorways ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.
Following the launch of the UK’s first Electric Forecourt in December, GRIDSERVE has been working with Moto and Ecotricity to deliver the electric vehicle charging needs of the future. The Electric Highway has delivered 12 of the 24 high power chargers at Rugby and has plans to rollout high power chargers on every Moto site. This would see the installation of 350kW capable chargers which are able to supply up to 200 miles of range in ten minutes, and accept contactless payment.
Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “GRIDSERVE’s purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and the rollout of high power chargers across Britain’s motorways in partnership with Moto will do just that – providing drivers with the confidence to go electric today.
“To see what the future of electric vehicle charging on the UK motorway network looks like, you can now visit Moto’s new Motorway Service Area at Rugby. After announcing our Electric Highway partnership with Ecotricity in March, and supported by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, we’ve been hard at work putting in the charging infrastructure needed to give people the confidence to make the transition to electric vehicles, by delivering 6-12 high power 350kW chargers across the Moto network as quickly as possible, as well as replacing all the existing chargers with the latest technology.”
Dale Vince, founder of the Electric Highway, added: “We began building the Electric Highway ten years ago and Moto 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.
“This marks the beginning of our new partnership with GRIDSERVE, and kickstarts a comprehensive programme where these installations will become ubiquitous on the motorway network, helping to make the experience of using an electric car no different to using a fossil-powered one.”
28 Moto sites are set to have ultra-rapid chargers by the end of this year. The aim is to have all Moto services with at least six ultra-rapid chargers by 2023, as part of a substantial long-term investment programme, and also includes an upgrade to all existing 50kW chargers by the summer 2021 to support greater charging flexibility and additional power ahead of increased ‘staycation’ traffic.
Following the blueprint of the new Rugby site, Moto, together with GRIDSERVE and Ecotricity, are is planning a further 24 high power charger locations at Reading, Thurrock, and Exeter by the end of 2021.
Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Moto, added: “Moto is committed to sustainable motoring and we want to play a key part in encouraging more people to have the confidence to switch into electric vehicles. Rugby Services is the most significant first step in achieving this and we’re proud to be launching the UK’s largest EV charging site.
“Our vision is to transform the UK’s rest stop experience and we think motorists will be delighted with the new Moto site at Rugby, particularly as they begin travelling again following easing of COVID-19 restrictions to see family, friends and loved ones.”
GRIDSERVE’s CHARGING NETWORK
Delivering reliable high power charging on the motorway network is a part of GRIDSERVE’s overall plans to deliver a UK-wide electric vehicle charging network that can provide the confidence for anyone, anywhere, to drive any type of electric vehicle without range or charging anxiety and with a fantastic customer experience.
In addition to the Electric Highway initiative GRIDSERVE is also delivering over 100 Electric Forecourts® over the next five years, which primarily serve local communities, and provide people even without access to off-street parking with the confidence to make the transition to electric vehicles well ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars. The company’s £1bn UK-wide programme, which kicked off with the opening of the UK’s first Electric Forecourt® in December 2020, aims to help make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience.
In March 2021, Ecotricity and GRIDSERVE announced a major new collaboration to turbocharge development of the Electric Highway network – Europe’s first nationwide charging network – which will transform electric vehicle charging facilities on Britain’s motorways and major roads.
The upgrade programme is being delivered in two elements, already well underway. Firstly, all existing chargers are being replaced with new technology, doubling the capacity by offering all three connection types (CCS, CHAdeMO, and AC) and contactless payment. Secondly, additional sets of new 350kW high power chargers will be installed at sites across the UK. Funding for the program is being provided by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, also a shareholder in GRIDSERVE.
As part of the partnership, GRIDSERVEhas taken a 25% stake in the Electric Highway network and also brings its front and back-office technology and expertise to the upgraded network, which will also have 24 x 7 support.