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The finishing touches are being made to the UK’s first electric forecourt.

The site in Braintree, Essex, is the first of around 100 electric forecourts to be built around the country over the next five years as part of a £1 billion programme. It will have 24 charging points, which can charge a vehicle in around 20 to 30 minutes, as well as six Tesla superchargers.

The high power chargers can deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes. The company behind the project, Gridserve, says it wants to make electric vehicle charging as easy as using petrol stations and is building electric forecourts on busy routes. It is supporting the Government’s commitment to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles within 15 years and aims to have a UK-wide network operational within five years.

The first forecourt has been constructed on a two-and-a-half- acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, and has links to Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Colchester and the M11. The network of electric forecourts will be powered by solar energy and battery storage. The company also plans to build solar farms next to many of their planned forecourts to supply the electricity.

While vehicles charge, drivers will be able to relax and shop in a state-of-the-art facility with a waiting lounge, free superfast Wi-Fi, a kid’s area and business meeting room pods. There will also be a retail space with a coffee shop and supermarket. Customer support will be provided by the AA via a dedicated team of electric vehicle experts. Drivers will be able to call a dedicated helpline from each supercharger and receive industry-leading advice on any technical questions related to the charger or even their vehicle.

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