(Pocket-lint) - With the UK Government looking to ban new petrol and diesel car sales from 2030, there's a drive to get more electric car charging points into the nation's infrastructure. The opening of the country's first EV charging forecourt is a milestone on that journey.
The new forecourt is located in Braintree, Essex, and is operated by Gridserve. It is one of over 100 sites planned for the next 5 years, as access to electric charging accelerates.
We've seen some sites offering larger-scale access tp EV chargers - most notably some of Tesla's Supercharger installations - but this new offering more closely replicates the offering of a traditional petrol station.
There are 36 charging points, capable of delivering up to 350kW charging rates, as well as shops like WH Smiths, Costa and Gourmade, Wi-Fi, a kids' zone, bathrooms and additional parking for those not using the chargers, or just stopping to use the facilities.
The downside of electric car charging is that it takes time, longer than your typical liquid fuel refill. That will mean that cars stopping on the chargers will likely be there for 30 minutes at least to get a decent charge. Supporting higher charging speeds, however, means that the fastest charging that the car supports can be used.
That will see some cars getting around 200 miles range in 20 minutes, although the rate will vary depending on the vehicle.
The site also houses a 6MWh battery, able to store energy and stabilise the grid. With local and remote solar stations providing power, having a battery also means that excess energy can be stored - with as much as 24,000 miles available from that storage battery.
The aim of the site is to use Gridserve's solar network to ensure that the site is delivering 100 per cent net zero carbon energy, rather than it just coming from a chugging coal power station. The Gridserve site will charge 24p per kWh, so a typical charge is expect to cost around £10.