Ecotricity has confirmed the sale of its Electric Highway national charging network to Gridserve. The sale comes after Gridserve and Ecotricity recently announced a partnership, with the goal of upgrading the UK’s charging infrastructure.
Ecotricity started developing the Electric Highway a decade ago and is widely recognised as a key player in helping to kickstart the UK’s electric car market. In a decade, charging has evolved from 3-pin plugs and 7kW charging to the current state-of-the-art 350kW, capable of providing 100 miles of charge in around 5 minutes, while typical car range has increased from 80 miles to over 300.
This technical progress and rapid price convergence of new electric cars with their fossil counterparts has seen more than 500,000 plug-in cars now on UK roads – with around 7% of new vehicles sales so far in 2021 being pure electric vehicles. Many of the world’s largest car manufacturers have announced dates for the final production of fossil powered cars and the Government have put a long stop on this by announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2030.
Gridserve is to ramp up investment in the Electric Highway with the replacement of all the existing chargers on the network with new technology that features latest advances including contactless payment – and the opening last month of the first high power charging facility at Moto’s new flagship Motorway services at Rugby, featuring 12 x 350kW chargers.
Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity, said, “We’ve reached an interesting point in the electric car revolution, exponential growth is just around the corner, the technology for charging has evolved and an incredible rate of charging is now possible. Using an electric car is almost on a par with using a fossil powered car, where you can just top up once every week or two. And the Electric Highway needs a growth spurt, to make sure that it stays ahead of driver demand and continues to play its key role, as the network that delivers more miles every year than any other. For this the Electric Highway needs an owner with access to serious funding and real commitment to the cause – I’m delighted to have found the ideal company to hand the baton to, in Gridserve.”
Toddington Harper, CEO, Gridserve, added, “It’s a real honour for Gridserve to have been chosen by Ecotricity as the organisation to take the Electric Highway forward in its next phase. The upgraded network will provide the confidence for millions more people to make the successful transition to electric vehicles in the earliest possible timeframes.”
Ecotricity says the sale will enable it to push new boundaries in its core green energy business – with innovations such as Britain’s first Green Gasmill – a process of making gas for the grid from grass. It will also bring forward a series of solar and battery storage projects and expand its Sky Mining facility – a carbon capture and storage process that turns atmospheric carbon dioxide into diamonds.