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Electric forecourts - petrol stations of the future for electric vehicles?

20 October 2020

What do petrol stations of the future - to charge electric or hydrogen vehicles - look like?

Milk, bread, a bag of lollies and…some electrons?

As we move towards an electric transport future, what will happen to petrol stations?

In many towns, the petrol station isn’t just a place to get fuel, it’s also a community hub, also selling groceries and a Post Office and bank outlet. But what happens when their core business transitions to a different type of fuel?

The good news is there’s a long lead-in time for transitioning to an all-electric forecourt, as petrol and diesel vehicles will be with us for a while yet. But, as the electric transport revolution continues, petrol stations will need to start thinking about how they’ll cater for a growing market of electric vehicle (EV) drivers, both those who live locally and visitors to their region.

EV drivers primarily charge up their cars at home, however the convenience of charging on-the-go cannot be underestimated. By installing EV charging petrol station owners can attract people to their business who will spend some ‘dwell time’ at their location.

This is where publicly available AC and DC charging comes in; AC charging is generally a slow charge that can take several hours to charge a car that’s low on battery. DC charging is faster, with some EVs able to take a complete charge in under 30 minutes.

Petrol stations with a café, seating area or that’s located near a shopping area or playground are perfect locations for AC charging; these nearby places for drivers and passengers to relax and enjoy themselves means they’re happier to dwell longer at that location.

Locations that are on a freeway will benefit from faster DC charging, so people travelling between towns can stop, top up and get back on the road. These drivers will also stop for a rest and spend money at a food outlet.

As vehicle and charging technology continues to develop, these charge times will eventually reduce to the point that charging your EV will take no more time than topping up your diesel Hilux.

Imagine a future where charging your EV on the go is not only accessible, but fast and convenient. Once upon a time that idea was just fantasy, but in the past few years, industry leaders have started to really grapple with the idea of modern charging solutions. 

What's happening in overseas marketing for EV charging?

This is where GridServe come in.

Grid Serve are an established sustainable energy company at the forefront of EV culture in the United Kingdom. They have been pioneering sustainable power for 50+ years and have installed EV charging solutions across the UK.

With GridServe’s combined experience and love for sustainable solutions, they have conceptualised a modern EV charging complex, to outclass all the rest. The Electric Forecourt. Let us explain.

GridServe have planned an expansive modern-day servo with under 30-minute charging times for your vehicle. These locations would also have a café, convenience store and even an outdoor gym, so you are occupied while waiting for a complete charge. Their forecourts even boast up to 24 chargers per location to eliminate wait times for a charger, and EV hire, for the eager driver.

 Though the Electric Forecourt is only a concept for now, we can only imagine what good it would bring to our charging experience in Australia. Locations like these would be a perfect hub for drivers living in big cities, and smaller versions of the complex could even take the place of some regular servos in the future, when electric vehicles start to dominate the market. 

GridServe’s Electric Forecourts may be a little way off, but what GridServe have proven is that this is a possibility. So, what’s to say that Australia’s own EV charging complexes aren’t just around the corner?

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