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Are rapid charging forecourts the key to EV take up?

The first bespoke Electric Vehicle (EV) charging forecourt opened in Essex recently, officially marking the start of the demise of petrol and diesel service stations .

The site is the first of over 100 set to be rolled out across the UK over the next five years as part of a £1 billion programme to make electric vehicle (EV) driving ultra-convenient and stress-free, according to the company.The move is applauded by motorists who remain uncertain about the practicalities of charging EV batteries, including charging times and home charging. A recent survey from Venson Automotive Solutions found that 68% of drivers would be more likely to make the switch to an EV if they knew they could conduct a rapid 30-minute charge at an electric forecourt rather than the inconvenience of charging their vehicle at home.

Gridserve, the sustainable energy company behind the first EV forecourt, plans to build 100 more sites in the coming five years – but expects far more sites will be needed. The Venson survey results agree. 63% of respondents said they would like to see more investment in public charging points.

Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions commented: “This new style of forecourt, with rapid charging points and excellent amenities on site, are a glimpse into the future of sustainable travel for both consumer and commercial drivers. Alongside convenience stores, high-tech  play areas and exercise bikes for visitors to enjoy, the new latest forecourt features comfortable ‘office pods’ to allow company car drivers to stay connected, have meetings and generally avoid down time while their vehicle charges. ”

The Venson survey confirms that company car drivers have an appetite for EVs, with one in four calling for the Transport Minister to introduce new legislation to encourage businesses to move to fully electric company cars and commercial vehicles within the next five years.

Alison Bell continued: “The expansion of the UK’s national charging network, ever-improving battery performance and the falling cost of EVs are helping to make the technology an increasingly popular choice for fleets.”

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