The Braintree Electric Forecourt®, adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, enables 36 electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously, with high power chargers that can deliver up to 350 kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes, and much faster in the future as electric vehicle battery technologies mature.
GRIDSERVE is the first business of its kind to carefully join the dots between sustainably generated renewable solar power, power storage and the electric power which is delivered to electric vehicles via super high-speed chargers. The GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt® makes charging electric vehicles truly simple, and with a fantastic retail and customer experience specifically designed for the next generation of vehicle owners and the new ways of travelling, connecting and working together.
The Braintree site is the first of over 100 Electric Forecourts® being built by GRIDSERVE over the next five years, providing people with the confidence that the UK will have the charging infrastructure required for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars. The company’s £1bn UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience, which – from today onwards – is delivering net zero EV driving at a cost that’s lower than driving petrol or diesel vehicles.
While vehicles charge, drivers can relax and shop in state-of-the-art facilities that cater for all their needs. This includes a comprehensive retail space hosting “Best of British” partners including WHSmith Travel, Costa Coffee, Booths, Post Office, and Gourmade. The facility also includes a waiting lounge, free superfast WiFi, high-end washrooms, dedicated kid’s area, wellbeing area with exercise bikes that generate electricity, and business meeting room pods.
The Electric Forecourt® is also designed to help people make the process of switching to electric vehicles as simple and straightforward as possible. The upper floor of the on-site building showcases the latest electric vehicles, and there are multiple digital screens that help people learn about and source electric vehicles using an interactive experience designed by Trison. With more than 200 types of electric vehicles now available, GRIDSERVE is also hiring electric vehicle enthusiasts to help educate people about electric vehicles, and arrange test drives, with the ultimate aim of providing people with the confidence and support to make the transition to an all-electric future.
GRIDSERVE CEO, Toddington Harper, commented:
“Together with our Solar Farms and Electric Forecourts®, GRIDSERVE Electric Vehicle Solutions completes our ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure designed to deliver net zero carbon transport from 2020 onwards. By including the planting of 100 trees for every electric vehicle leased through the service and providing net zero-carbon energy to charge all the vehicles, we’re making EV driving greener, cheaper and more straightforward than ever before.”
Providing the very best experience is a key element of the GRIDSERVE customer journey, and Trison have custom-designed and installed a variety of digital surfaces across the Electric Forecourt®, including digital LED roadside totems, wayfinding signage, interactive EV information and leasing points, bespoke room booking screens and online platform, wellbeing touchscreens and Customer Feedback/Survey screens, all of which are deployed utilising the Google Chrome Operating System for world-beating security, stability and remote manageability.
Every digital instance uses motion graphics, coding and graphic design which has been created by the Trison studio specifically for GRIDSERVE, and this is all deployed to help customers get the very best out of each visit to the Electric Forecourt® – whether that be as a retail/leisure visit or enabling as productive a visit as possible whilst charging.
Ensuring a consistent design experience was crucial and as such Trison are also responsible for all environmental graphic design across the site. This includes the Charger design, wayfinding signage, wall and floor vinyl, brand messages and functional tactile signage.
Trison CEO, Peter Critchley said:
“Our developing partnership with GRIDSERVE through 2020 has been fantastic – Toddington, Heston and the whole team are energetic forward thinkers and focused on making a real difference. This shared mindset has driven everything we have developed together.
In particular, we loved developing the GRIDSERVE brand identity, it’s tone of voice and how we translated this to a fully embedded and engaging environmental and digital customer journey across the whole Electric Forecourt®. It’s so rewarding to be entrusted by GRIDSERVE to bring the customer journey to life for such an iconic and important project, and we are excited about the next digital and design phases, which we are already hard at work developing.”