England’s first electric car station opens


One of the world’s first all-electric service stations, this facility in White Notley near Braintree in Essex, England, also has exercise bikes, a cafe and meeting rooms to keep drivers occupied while their cars charge. — Gridserve/dpa

An English town has become the first place in Britain and one of the first in the world to get an all-electric service station for electric vehicles without a single petrol pump in sight.

The facility has just been opened by Gridserve in a lay-by on the A131 road in White Notley near Braintree in Essex. It enables 36 electric vehicles to be charged at the same time. It gets power from big batteries and a nearby subsidy-free solar farm.

The charging equipment can load up to 50 kilowatts of electrons into a typical electric car’s batteries within 20 minutes – or enough to travel 320km. At home, it can often take hours to charge the average electric car from mains electricity.

“As we accelerate towards cleaner and greener transport, I’m delighted to see the future of service stations being brought to life with the opening of the UK’s first all-electric forecourt, ” British Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said.

The facility delivered the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today, a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars, said Harper.

To keep drivers busy while their cars charge, the station offers a range of other amenities including free exercise bicycles and soundproof meeting hubs. There is even a branch of the Post Office along with a coffee shop and newsagent. – dpa

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