Ecotricity and GRIDSERVE team up in bid to turbocharge Electric Highway

Deal will see GRIDSERVE take a 25 per cent stake in Ecotricity’s national charging network

The UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network received a further boost today, with the news green energy supplier Ecotricity and infrastructure developer GRIDSERVE are to team up in a move designed to “turbocharge” the roll out of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network.

The Electric Highway was launched in 2011 and is one of longest established EV charging networks, providing hundreds of rapid chargers, primarily at motorway locations.

Under the terms of the deal, financial details for which were not disclosed, GRIDSERVE has taken a 25 per cent stake in the Electric Highway and will integrate their front and back-office technology and expertise with the upgraded network.

In addition, the move will see GRIDSERVE provide 24 x 7 support for the Electric Highway network, which has faced criticism from some users for not providing round the clock support when chargers break.

The companies said the deal would enable an acceleration of upgrade work that is already underway that will see all existing chargers replaced with new technology that doubles the capacity, offers all three EV connection types, and enables contactless payment. Moreover, a further six to 12 pumps at the all-new 350kW high power standard will be installed at all Electric Highway sites.

Funding for the program is being provided by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, which is a major shareholder in GRIDSERVE and backer of the company’s vision for a network of Electric Forecourts across the UK. 

“I’m a fan of GRIDSERVE’s Electric Forecourt concept, their vision and passion in this space,” said Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. “To be able to work together to make sure the Electric Highway continues to lead the electric car revolution in Britain is an exciting prospect. The Electric Highway kickstarted Britain’s electric car revolution – one decade ago this summer, and together with GRIDSERVE we have big plans for the second decade – and the end of fossil powered cars.”

His comments were echoed by Toddington Harper, CEO at GRIDSERVE, who hailed the significance of the deal for the UK’s charging network. “I’ve been driving an electric vehicle for eight years, and the Electric Highway was the network that originally made that possible,” he said. “It’s therefore a huge privilege for myself and GRIDSERVE to take a role alongside Ecotricity in the next evolution of the Electric Highway.”

He added that the partnership would further strengthen the case for motorists to switch to EVs. “GRIDSERVE’s purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change, and the upgraded network will provide the confidence people need to immediately make the transition to a net zero, electric vehicle future,” he said. “The new network will feature all of GRIDSERVE’s world-leading technology to ensure that electric vehicle charging is straightforward, anxiety free, and delivers an awesome customer experience.” 

The news follows the recent launch of GRIDSERVE’s first Electric Forecourt at a site in Essex, which combines shops and cafes with an array of fast chargers capable of charging 36 EVs simultaneously, delivering around 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes. The project is envisaged as the first in a network of over 100 Electric Forecourts that are planned for the next five years as part of a £1bn investment drive.

Read more: businessgreen.com