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Where abouts is the Gatwick site? Don’t go to Gatwick much but could be handy for M23/A23 traffic to/from the south coast
 

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The really odd thing is they were and now they're not ! Wonder what is going on there ?
Does seem odd. We will probably never know.

To me it sounds like there may be some negotiations going on between Tesla and Gridserve / EH given that EH now no longer 'needs' to rely on the reported cash contributions from Tesla to develop larger motorway charging facilities.
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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At the rate they seem to be going, I think it’s quite likely. They’ve got the finance and the planning in place, and no-one else seems to want to compete in the space.
What do you mean by they've got the finance in place? They will arrange the finance on a project by project basis. The planning applications were funded by hmgov.
 

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What do you mean by they've got the finance in place? They will arrange the finance on a project by project basis. The planning applications were funded by hmgov.
I thought they’d got a big funding commitment from Hitachi Capital. Could be wrong.
 

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I thought they’d got a big funding commitment from Hitachi Capital. Could be wrong.
IIRC £10M from Hitachi Capital so far and about £1M in government grants. Hitachi will want to see a return on their investment at some point.
 

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Actual money handed over from Hitachi Capital to Gridserve is at least £34 Million so far(£24 Million in 2020 and £10 Million in 2021), with potential to fund up to £1 billion.
Hitachi Capital UK has invested £10 million in EV charging business Gridserve to support the rollout of 100 new Electric Forecourts.

Over the course of 2020, the financial services provider has funded more than £24m in Gridserve projects, including funding to help deliver the completion of the first Electric Forecourt in Braintree.
Reference 1

Highest figure I have seen for the government funding is £4.86 million, can't find a value that OZEV have given.
Construction on the first Electric Forecourt® on a 2.5 acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, is supported by a £4.86 million grant from Innovate UK, one of the largest awarded last year. The site has links to Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Colchester and the M11.
Reference 2
 

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MG EZS 2020
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Hitachi will want to see a return on their investment at some point.
It's been established that GridServe's main raison de'etre is grid balancing. That's why they have those massive batteries at their sites. EV charging is a happy (for us) by-product.
 

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Zoe ZE50 GT-Line R135 Rapid Charge in Flame Red 😀
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Planning on charging at Braintree en-route to Heathrow at the weekend. Not much of a detour. Are the 22kW chargers still free or have they now been set up for payment?
PS. Collecting someone not escaping the UK!
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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Planning on charging at Braintree en-route to Heathrow at the weekend. Not much of a detour. Are the 22kW chargers still free or have they now been set up for payment?
PS. Collecting someone not escaping the UK!
They were still free a week ago.
 

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It's been established that GridServe's main raison de'etre is grid balancing. That's why they have those massive batteries at their sites. EV charging is a happy (for us) by-product.
That's the very reason why their business model is not sustainable. So far, they are sucking up government subsidies paid out on the basis that they are building charging hubs. If EV charging element of these hubs is not profitable then they will have little incentive to maintain and refresh them. Ditto, the attached shopping aspects. This will all come out in the wash when 2 or 3 are built and they achieve a very pitiful income.
 

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Where abouts is the Gatwick site? Don’t go to Gatwick much but could be handy for M23/A23 traffic to/from the south coast
It'll be handy for the Taxi's etc, as well the number of airport shuttle runs done per day must have been immense in peak holiday season. It also allows the down time when flights are late/delayed to be used effectively.
 

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That's the very reason why their business model is not sustainable. So far, they are sucking up government subsidies paid out on the basis that they are building charging hubs. If EV charging element of these hubs is not profitable then they will have little incentive to maintain and refresh them. Ditto, the attached shopping aspects. This will all come out in the wash when 2 or 3 are built and they achieve a very pitiful income.
Battery based grid balancing is a licence to print money at the moment. Just look at the Australian "big battery" - their energy trading system is very similar to ours.

In the meantime, their charging hub is already very popular and I can't see that changing in the near future. Given the choice between a Gridserve location and an MSE on a bank holiday weekend, which would you go to?
 

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That's the very reason why their business model is not sustainable. So far, they are sucking up government subsidies paid out on the basis that they are building charging hubs. If EV charging element of these hubs is not profitable then they will have little incentive to maintain and refresh them. Ditto, the attached shopping aspects. This will all come out in the wash when 2 or 3 are built and they achieve a very pitiful income.
I'm aware of a number of schemes that are looking at battery storage that sell energy back at times of high demand. Typically these are in areas of low land value but close to main grid infrastructure. Most of these do not include any public access for things like vehicle charging - they are just compounds with batteries and sometimes solar or wind generation.

The GridServe model is more diverse so does benefit from subsidies but is not dependant upon them to be viable. Land value however is key, hence we are unlikely to see these popping up adjacent to shopping facilities. They won't make much selling electricity to EV drivers but they may profit from selling refreshments etc. to a captive audience.
 

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The GridServe model is more diverse so does benefit from subsidies but is not dependant upon them to be viable. Land value however is key, hence we are unlikely to see these popping up adjacent to shopping facilities
EV charging helps greatly with land access as many planning policies will allow EV charging sites next to A roads in the green belt etc.
 

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Zoe ZE50 GT-Line R135 Rapid Charge in Flame Red 😀
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I made 2 visits to Gridserve Braintree yesterday. Very impressed! First stop on outbound journey I still had 70% charge but arrived later with just 12% on the return journey.

The “bad” news. 22kW chargers are no longer on free vend 😢. Still the price is pretty reasonable. I used the <90kW CCS for my Zoe ZE50.

A comfort break and a Costa coffee was long enough to take on board sufficient electrons. We were there a bit longer as we had a look round and got chatting to a lovely family with an e-Niro and a Gridserve employee. Both very informative and enjoyable conversations.

Constructive criticism:-
1 Only 2 toilets + disabled facilities. There was a queue with only limited people around (see below).

2 The charge leads are pretty short. If you have a front mounted socket you need to stop near the back of the marked bay. Once you know it’s fine, but I had to reverse slightly to get the cable to reach the first time.

Some people have suggested that this is a poor location. I disagree. South Norfolk to Heathrow I would normally go cross-country via Diss and Bury St. Edmunds to pick up A14 (west bound), then M11 and M25. Yesterday my route was A140 south to A14 (east bound) before joining A12. Then cut across on A120 which takes you within a couple of miles of the Gridserve forecourt. Then return to A120 to join M11 and M25. Google maps showed that the route via Braintree Gridserve was 1 minute faster than my normal route!! Without the new Gridserve facility I would have had to take my chances at Birchanger Services in both directions. No contest!

With the limited number of EV's currently on the road a new facility like this will be working well under capacity but that is changing with the number of new EV's now available increasing rapidly. It's better to have too much capacity than too little - that has been the major gripe for a number of years in the EV community.

Being a bit geeky I made a note of how many other cars were using the chargers on my 2 visits:

11:20am (40 minutes during which time I took on board 16.8 kWh - 70% to 99% SOC)

22kW chargers - a solitary i3 (BTW 1 of these chargers was out of action)
90kW chargers - E-Niro & Leaf 40 followed by another i3 and an ENV van later
350kW chargers - Mercedes EQA and EQC - not seen either of these on the road before. Later these were joined by a Porsche Taycan (from which 4 tall young men emerged - the ones in the rear had a good stretch!) and a Tesla Model 3.

Arrived at 16:45 and stayed 50 minutes - 34.2kW added - 12% to 79% SOC.
It was quieter at this time with just an e-Mini and VW ID4 plugged into the 350 kW chargers. Later a new Ioniq Electric (38kWh?) pulled up at the 90kW chargers.

A BMW i8 and a couple of other Tesla's were also visiting but not charging. The Tesla Superchargers were not yet operational.

The Gridserve Forecourt made the the journey completely hassle free and fitted in with when we would have stopped normally time/distance wise. This is probably the longest journey I have done in any of my 3 Zoe's since 2016. Overall 293 miles at an average speed of 47.2mph and efficiency of 4.1 miles per kWh. Pretty pleased with that.

Gridserve Norwich East is expected to open in September this year apparently. I for one am looking forward to seeing many more of these facilities around the country. Well done Gridserve!
 

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The “bad” news. 22kW chargers are no longer on free vend 😢. Still the price is pretty reasonable. I used the <90kW CCS for my Zoe ZE50.
They were still free when RZOC visited on Saturday with 20+ Zoes. Must've changed it since.
Constructive criticism:-
1 Only 2 toilets + disabled facilities. There was a queue with only limited people around (see below).
There were at least 3 toilets upstairs, not counting disabled.
2 The charge leads are pretty short. If you have a front mounted socket you need to stop near the back of the marked bay. Once you know it’s fine, but I had to reverse slightly to get the cable to reach the first time.
I learned that the hard way too.
The Tesla Superchargers were not yet operational.
We asked about that. They said that Tesla is waiting for some parts for the control stuff behind the fence.
 

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I might pop in at the weekend to, hoping to go up to Blakeney and take the ID.3 for it's first proper long drive (first attempt ended in a puncture), a handy stop on the way back
 
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Hmm, wonder if Gloucestershire is getting an electric forecourt as well as the solar farm? Braintree & Norwich feel a bit of a trek from here.
 
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