The sky’s the limit: New GRIDSERVE Electric Forecourt® now open at London Gatwick Airport

  • First Electric Forecourt® at an international airport
  • 30 brand new electric vehicle charging bays available at GRIDSERVE’s third Electric Forecourt®
  • Electric Forecourt® is also home to Little Fresh, powered by Amazon Just Walk Out technology, and Costa Coffee
January 8, 2024

GRIDSERVE has opened its most advanced Electric Forecourt® at London Gatwick with world-class electric vehicle (EV) charging in combination with the latest in retail technology.

London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® is the first EV charging facility of its kind at an international airport and will revolutionise travel for passengers, employees, private hire fleets and the local community.

Located on the Ring Road South approach to London Gatwick’s South Terminal and adjacent to the M23, the Electric Forecourt® is home to 30 EV charging bays supplied by 100% net zero energy and will serve the tens of millions of annual visitors to the airport.

The newest Electric Forecourt® will help London Gatwick on its journey to reach net zero by 2030, with 32.9 million passengers visiting in 2022. London Gatwick is the most efficient single runway airport in the world, with 15 million people, more than a quarter of the population of England, able to access London Gatwick within 60 minutes by road or rail.

The new Electric Forecourt® is one of the most advanced EV charging facilities in the world, hosting 30 charging bays, including 22 High Power chargers with up to 350kW of power – some of the fastest chargers publicly available today, capable of adding 100 miles of range in only five minutes. The new chargers increase charging capacity at the airport five-fold and are accessible to all EV drivers including passengers, London Gatwick staff and the local community.

To make it as easy as possible for customers to charge their EVs, all GRIDSERVE locations feature both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors, accept contactless payment and provide real-time status updates to a myriad of popular EV charging maps. The chargers are powered by net zero carbon energy, supporting GRIDSERVE’s purpose to move the needle on climate change and help pave the way for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2035 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

More than just great charging, London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® visitors can enjoy retail and food outlets so they can fuel themselves for their journeys.

London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® is home to a Little Fresh convenience store, Simply Fresh’s small-store format. This latest Electric Forecourt® is the first time a Little Fresh convenience store has implemented Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, speeding up the customer journey and giving guests more time to recharge as their vehicles do the same.

Visitors to the London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® Little Fresh store simply tap their contactless payment card or smartphone wallet upon store entry and grab what they need. The technology detects what the shopper takes from, or returns to, store shelves, creating a virtual shopping cart. When the customer completes the shopping experience, they can leave the store without waiting in line, and their choice of payment method will be charged for the items.

Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is made possible by artificial intelligence (AI) such as computer vision and deep-learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. Amazon built synthetic datasets to mimic millions of realistic shopping scenarios – including variations in store format, lighting conditions, and even crowds of shoppers – to ensure accuracy in any environment.

Costa Coffee is also being served to visitors to the Electric Forecourt®. The London Gatwick Costa Coffee store is GRIDSERVE’s first Costa Coffee store as a corporate franchise partner.

With innovation and convenience at its heart, the London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® Costa Coffee store will also have customer-centric features such as Click & Collect, which will allow Costa Club members to pre-order and pay for selected food and drinks prior to arrival. To make life even easier for those charging their EV at the Electric Forecourt®, the driver’s favourite handcrafted coffee will be able to be delivered directly to their charging bay.

Inside the Electric Forecourt®, there is an interactive EV experience area where visitors can test their EV readiness and find out which EV suits them along with impartial advice from GRIDSERVE EV Gurus. Like at Braintree Electric Forecourt® and Norwich Electric Forecourt®, visitors can test drive the latest electric vehicles. From opening, the MG4 EV will be available to test drive, with more vehicles added in due course.

Toddington Harper, CEO of GRIDSERVE, said: “As we launch our third, and most technologically advanced Electric Forecourt® at London Gatwick, we mark a significant milestone in the evolution of sustainable transportation. We are excited to open our first charging facility at an international airport and help support London Gatwick on its journey to net zero. Our purpose at GRIDSERVE is to deliver sustainable energy on the scale needed to move the needle on climate change, and this is certainly a project that moves the needle for the airport, and local workers and residents.

“It is clear that with this awesome London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® we have continued to raise the bar, in delivering the best possible customer experience. In addition, we have also stepped up our efforts relating to EV awareness and information, test drives and car leasing, helping to accelerate the switch to electric in the vicinity. We look forward to welcoming all current and potential EV drivers to GRIDSERVE’s new London Gatwick Electric Forecourt®.”

Bronwen Jones, Development Director at London Gatwick, said: “We are proud to be the first European international airport with its own dedicated electric vehicle charging forecourt.

“GRIDSERVE has been placed in a strategic location and will be available to millions of passengers, commuters, staff, residents and businesses that pass through the area each year. We are making sustainability part of everything we do here at London Gatwick and we are committed to creating a low-carbon economy by providing new infrastructure that everyone can use, so together we can reduce emissions.

“As we invest in our long-term, future growth additions such as GRIDSERVE are vital to London Gatwick’s ecosystem.”

The London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® is located on the Ring Road South approach to London Gatwick’s South Terminal, the building is open from 4:30am to 10:00pm, 7 days a week, with chargers available 24/7 all year round.

GRIDSERVE now has over 175 locations with more than 1,200 charging bays, mostly with 350kW+ high power chargers at Electric Super Hubs serving Motorway Service Areas (MSAs).

Construction has already begun on the next Electric Forecourt® located on the Knebworth Estate in Stevenage. The fourth Electric Forecourt® from GRIDSERVE will serve visitors, staff and local communities around the historic estate and in the wider Hertfordshire area. Located near junction seven off the A1(M), it is conveniently placed for passing motorway traffic, and once completed, will enable 34 electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously.

Planning permission is also approved at several other sites including Markham Vale, Gateshead, Plymouth and Nevendon (Basildon), with more than 30 additional sites also under development.

There will be a formal ribbon cutting ceremony at London Gatwick Electric Forecourt® in the coming weeks.

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GRIDSERVE is a tech-enabled sustainable energy business whose purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change. It has pioneered a Sun-to-Wheel ecosystem that includes the most advanced hybrid solar + battery farms, award-winning electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a customer-centric electric vehicle leasing platform.