News article

Meet the manager of London Gatwick Electric Forecourt®: Mital Mehta 

Mital Mehta General Manager at London Gatwick Electric Forecourt

Mital Mehta is displaying the calm control of a swan gliding across a lake. It’s the eve of the opening of the London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® and GRIDSERVE’s newest general manager must be furiously paddling beneath the surface.

There are shelves to be stacked, snags to be fixed and staff to be briefed, all before the third and most advanced Electric Forecourt® in existence can open its doors to an expectant public in less than six hours.

Entrance to London Gatwick Electric Forecourt

This collaboration between GRIDSERVE and London Gatwick Airport represents the pinnacle of electric vehicle (EV) charging. Not only is it the first EV charging facility of its kind at an international airport in the western world – with 30 x EV chargers available under one roof – it also supports London Gatwick’s ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. For anybody driving through the South Terminal in 2024, GRIDSERVE’s trademark curved glazing, copper cladding and towering ‘G’ logos are going to be unmissable.

It’s the unique convening power of London Gatwick that Mital reckons will help get this flagship Electric Forecourt® off to a flying start. “Our primary focus is the ecosystem that surrounds this incredible airport,” he explains. “The 50,000 members of staff, the rental companies, taxi companies and residents. If we can build strong relationships here that help to electrify the periphery of London Gatwick, then we’re going to be making a measurable difference to the climate emergency.”

Shopping at Little Fresh grocery store at London Gatwick Electric Forecourt

It’s that ambition that attracted Mital to join GRIDSERVE and leave a very successful career at department store giant, Matalan. Rising through the ranks via the coveted in-house management training program, Mital spent more than a decade learning to be customer- and dataobsessed while ending up with responsibility for two London stores and 85 staff.

His newly recruited team at London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® may be smaller – 19 staff members made up of EV gurus, team leaders and coffee baristas – but Mital reckons this will help give GRIDSERVE more agility and allow him more time with each employee, to ensure everyone feels valued and aligns with the company’s one team vision, mission and ambition. This will be made easier to achieve with the fact London Gatwick is the first of our facilities where GRIDSERVE is the official Costa Coffee franchisee.

Mital Mehta quote

“We know coffee is such a big part of the EV charging experience at our Electric Forecourts®, so it feels right that we have become the franchisee,” Mital explains. “We want to provide our customers with the best quality coffee while they’re relaxing in our spaces, but we also want the flexibility to introduce innovative and customer-centric formats such as Click & Collect (a service that allows Costa Club Members to pre-order and pay for selected food and drinks prior to arrival) or even coffee delivered to your charging bay.”

Of course, the risks are huge, and the certainties are none, but this Electric Forecourt® feels set up to succeed, particularly with its super-extended store opening times and 24/7 EV charging facilities. And we haven’t even mentioned the influence this place could have on the driving habits of millions of holiday makers.

Costa Coffee at London Gatwick Electric Forecourt

Mital reveals that there are 15 million people – that’s more than a quarter of the population of England – able to access London Gatwick Airport within 60 minutes by road or rail. Give these drivers a fundamentally better ‘refuelling’ experience that features net zero energy, the most powerful EV chargers available at scale (and in some style) and it’s easy to see how the impact of this place, and Mital’s awesome team, could be felt much further afield.