Electric Highway Upgrade
Charging points up and down the UK are being upgraded as part of GRIDSERVE's Electric Highway rollout.
The Electric Highway was established in 2011 and became a fundamental infrastructure for early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs). It was purchased by GRIDSERVE in June this year, and shortly after, they released plans to upgrade the ageing network that covers critical motorway service areas.
All the legacy charge points have been replaced with new contactless units capable of speeds of up to 350kW. In theory, this would allow vehicles to add over 200 miles of range in less than 10 minutes*. However, this doesn't mean that you can get these speeds today. Most of the locations don't have a grid connection that can provide these speeds, nor are there any vehicles on sale that could draw the power at that rate. The PorcheTaycan has one of the fastest rates of charge at an impressive 262kW but is still shy of the charge point's full potential.
It does mean that the charge points will be ready when the vehicle technology allows, ensuring this is an infrastructure suitable for the next stage of EV adoption.
It's not good news for all EV drivers, however. The upgraded units no longer have Type 2 connectors, so cars like the popular Renault Zoe cannot utilise these new sites. Only vehicles with either a CSS or CHAdeMO connector can now charge. GRIDSERVE is looking to address the issue and is planning to install standalone Type 2 charge points at sites that have already been upgraded and include charge points with a Type 2 socket once they have resolved some issues with their supply chain.
Further details can be found here
As well as offering some of the best UK charging speeds, GRIDSERVE provides very competitive prices, with charging priced at £0.30kWh or around 8p per mile**.
Finding the GRIDSERVE charge points is easy as they are available in the myAutomate app and charge points from all other major operators. The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play and offers a suite of features, including parking, car washes and MOT, and tax reminders.
*assumed 3.5 miles per kWh and a constant charging speed of 350kW. At present, there aren't any vehicles capable of charging at this speed.
*assumed 3.5 per kWh