What Car? Innovation Award 2022
Winner: GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt
With a ban on the sale of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles set for 2030 and world governments signalling their intention to limit the use of fossil fuels, removing barriers to the rollout of electric vehicles is the most pressing challenge facing the automotive industry today.
This is why judges felt GRIDSERVE’s pioneering electric forecourt concept is worthy of the highest praise, crowning it What Car? Innovation Award winner 2022.
“Motorists are still hesitant to commit to EVs due to a perceived lack of charging infrastructure and availability when they need it,” Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research’s Chief Research Strategy Officer says. “This is a barrier to adoption, but Gridserve’s forecourts are helping to change this perception.”
GRIDSERVE’s all-electric forecourts will feature 36 dedicated EV charging stations in surroundings more akin to a petrol forecourt or motorway service station. Motorists can take advantage of business centres, airport-style lounges, shops and cafes while they charge their EV, and they can even get tech support from EV experts at The AA.
The British firm opened its – and the country’s – first all-electric forecourt in Essex in 2020, with a further two sites currently under construction in Norwich and Gatwick. GRIDSERVE’s goal is to build 100 EV forecourts and hubs as part of an ambitious £1bn project.
“This will certainly make EV motorists feel less like an afterthought,” Avery adds. “Rather than seeking out charging points in random locations that offer few if any facilities, they can now enjoy a coffee and a comfort break in surroundings that mirror the experience of a traditional forecourt or service station.”