Gridserve has opened a new Electric Forecourt in Norwich, its second in the UK.
Located at Broadland Gate Business Park in Postwick (NR13 5HB), next to the A47, the facility hosts 36 EV chargers, including 22x high-power chargers with up to 350kW of power, which are believed to be the fastest chargers commercially available, capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in five minutes. The Norwich site forms part of Gridserve's £1bn investment in developing its UK electric charging infrastructure network.
Norwich and the wider East of England region currently have comparatively low EV charger coverage compared to other regions in the UK – hosting just 29 chargers per 100,000 people compared to the UK average of 42 per 100,000 people, or 102 per 100,000 people in London.
The immediate 10km radius area also has over 40,000 households with no access to off-street parking to accommodate home charging. The result is that currently EVs only account for 1% of cars on the road in the Norwich area.
The electric forecourt will enable EV drivers to access the city centre and improve connections to surrounding areas such as Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough. It marks the second forecourt in the east of England, complementing the Braintree facility in Essex.
Gridserve CEO Toddington Harper said this decade is crucial for climate action and it’s vital that we deliver the solutions that will move the needle on climate change.
"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," he said.
"That’s why we have put the consumer at the heart of our design, with our Electric Forecourts serving the needs of local communities in their transition to electric vehicles."
He said the Norwich Electric Forecourt showcases a new design, providing charging and a better customer experience in a smaller footprint than its first site at Braintree.
The project was constructed with funding from Novuna. CEO Robert Gordon said the project is a "game changer" for people and businesses in the area interested in transitioning to electric vehicles powered by clean energy. "Projects like this really make a difference in providing the confidence people need to become electric vehicle drivers," he said.
Broadland District Council portfolio holder, Councillor Jo Copplestone, said protecting the environment for future generations is a priority for Broadland District Council.
"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," she said.
The electric charging facility also includes a range of leisure facilities including Costa Coffee, M&S Food, and WHSmith, along with fast wifi and bookable meeting pods.
Norwich has received government funding to assess the viability of a zero-emission zone in the city in a bid to cut air pollution from the city centre. If the plan goes ahead, all petrol and diesel vehicles could be banned from the city, making emission free electric vehicles essential.
To mark the launch, Gridserve is offering 1,000 miles of free charging for every car they lease until the end of June, subject to terms and conditions.
Several more electric forecourts also have planning permission, including Uckfield, Gateshead, Plymouth and Stevenage, and more than 30 additional sites are under development.