Complete guide to the Gridserve (formerly Ecotricity) Electric Highway charging network
Need to charge your electric vehicle on the Gridserve Electric Highway network? Here’s how it works, how much it costs and how to pay
The Gridserve Electric Highway charging network – formerly run by Ecotricity – includes over 300 charging points located at motorway service stations and other locations across the UK. Gridserve also announced plans in June 2021 to expand the network with 50 'Electric Hubs' featuring 350kW ultra-rapid chargers, as well as 100 'Electric Forecourts' modelled on the company's flagship location in Braintree, Essex.
Earlier in 2021, Ecotricity sold the entire Electric Highway network to Gridserve, after the Hitachi-backed company took an initial 25% stake in the network in March 2021 and began upgrading its charging hardware.
So far, Gridserve has replaced 80 of the old Ecotricity charging points at 50 locations across the UK with new units that support dual charging, contactless payment and 60kW+ charging speeds. Gridserve intends to have upgraded all of Ecotricity’s old charging points by September 2021.
Gridserve also plans to have the first 10 of the above-mentioned Electric Hubs to service motorway users open by the end of 2021, each featuring between six and 12 350kW ultra-rapid charging points – the fastest currently in operation in the UK. The first opened in April 2021 at Rugby Services near Coventry, with 12 Gridserve chargers alongside 12 Tesla Superchargers. Half of Moto service areas will have a minimum of six ultra-rapid chargers by the end of 2021, with the company aiming to have ultra-rapids at all its sites by the end of 2022.
Charging on the Gridserve Electric Highway network
While Gridserve is currently working on its own smartphone app, drivers can still download the Electric Highway app to pay for charging on the network. Simply enter your car’s details and a credit card to a user profile to get started, ensuring you either remember or make note of your three-digit security code you’ll need each time you charge.
The app will show you all of the charging points in your area, with a live status showing whether or not each charger is available to use. Once you’re up and running, you can use the app to monitor the progress of your charging session.
Electricity on the network is currently priced at 30p per kilowatt-hour (kWH), meaning an 80% top-up of the standard, 40kWh Nissan Leaf would cost £9.60. This translates into 134 miles of range on paper, although it will vary from car to car. However, up to dates prices can be found on the Electric Highway app.
Gridserve has also announced prices for its new sites. Charging at one of the Electric Hubs will also cost 30p per kWh, while the price at Electric Forecourts is 24p per kWh. Most of the chargers on the Electric Highway network are rapid chargers, capable of speeds over 60kW, while a select few at locations including the Electric Hubs are capable of up to 350kW.
It’s worth remembering that public charging is usually more expensive than home charging, with the latter costing in the region of 12-14p per kWh depending on your tariff. Some companies will also charge you less at night when demand is lower.
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