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  • Post published:December 8, 2020
  • Post category:Cars / Tech
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UK’s first electric cars charging station opens for business

The UK’s first electric cars charging station opens today near Braintree in Essex, marking a milestone in the country’s transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Gridserve operated station and is the first of more than 100 locations it plans to build over the next five years.

The location consists of 36 electric vehicle chargers, which produce up to 350kW of power. That’s enough to provide 200 miles in 20 minutes, according to Gridserve. With an initial cost of £0.24 per kWh of energy, the company estimates an average-sized electric vehicle can cost anywhere from 20 to 80 percent for under £10 (less than $13.25). Gridserve claims it is the “lowest ultra-high power charging rates on the market today.”

UK’s first electric cars charging station
The solar panels on the station provide renewable energy for the 36 chargers

Station chargers draw power from renewable sources, including solar panels installed in the station canopy and the company’s grid of hybrid solar power plants. There’s also a 6MWh battery to help balance the power supply during peak times. According to the Gridserve, “on windy winter nights, the battery can store enough energy to drive 24,000 miles in electric vehicles the following day.”

The station has opened less than a month after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the country’s plans to ban the sale of new combustion-engine vehicles by 2030, The Guardian reported, with some hybrids and vans continuing to sell until 2035. One estimate cited in a new government report – recently estimated that there could be more than 10 million electric cars on UK roads by 2030, increasing to 36 million a decade later.

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While this is the UK’s first electric charging station, it is not the first we have looked at globally. Last year, for example, a gas station in Maryland in the US replaced its traditional fuel pump with a four-point electric vehicle charging point. CNBC reports that this makes it the first gas station in the country to dump oil and support charging 100 percent of electric vehicles.