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Gridserve and Hitachi launch electric vehicle leasing business

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Gridserve has joined forces with Hitachi Capital (UK) to launch a net zero electric vehicle leasing business.

The Gridserve Electric Vehicle Solutions lease rates include charging at Gridserve's Electric Forecourts without paying any additional costs.

The company announced the new service when it officially opened its Electric Forecourt in Braintree, which will enable 36 vehicles to be charged at the same time at up to 350kW.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, said: “Together with our solar farms and Electric Forecourts, Gridserve Electric Vehicle Solutions completes our ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure designed to deliver net zero carbon transport from 2020 onwards.

“By including the planting of 100 trees for every electric vehicle leased through the service and providing net zero carbon energy to charge all the vehicles, we’re making EV driving greener, cheaper and more straightforward than ever before.”

Gridserve said the tree planting will help to minimise the carbon emissions from supply chain processes, such as manufacturing.

It said the leasing service is designed to bring the cost of driving electric below that of petrol or diesel cars.

An example it gives of this is a 259-mile range Mercedes-Benz EQC 300kW AMG Line 80kWh, which would cost £563.05 (ex. VAT) per month to lease for 36 months (six-month initial at 8k miles per annum), including Electric Forecourt charging.

Gridserve said a similar combustion vehicle under the same terms – such as a Mercedes-Benz GLC AMG Estate GLC 43 4Matic – would cost £577.12 (ex. VAT) per month to lease, with fuel costing £150.17 on top of this cost (27.7 MPG, £1.10/litre) per month.

In this example, the EQC would cost £164.57 per month less than the petrol alternative, equivalent to a saving of £6,032.52 over the 36-month leasing term.

Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK), added: “Our partnership with Gridserve is a total game-changer for electric mobility.

“Not only are we providing electric vehicles at some of the most competitive rates on the market, but we are at the same time developing a network of rapid, reliable and renewably powered Electric Forecourts that will fast-track the electric vehicle revolution in the UK as we prepare for a zero-carbon future.”

Gridserve Electric Vehicle Solutions plans to offer electric vehicles from all major vehicle manufacturers.

At the time of launch, available brands include Audi, BMW, DS, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen.

Braintree forecourt first of 100

The Electric Forecourt in Braintree is the first of more than 100 in the UK Gridserve is planning to build in the next five years as part of a £1 billion programme.
Together with Gridserve, it was funded by Hitachi Capital (UK), Innovate UK and OZEV.

Electricity is generated from both the solar power canopies above the chargers and a network of hybrid solar farms, also operated by Gridserve.

Drivers charging at the Electric Forecourt will initially pay 24p per kWh of energy (including VAT), meaning a typical charge from 20% to 80% costs under £10 for an average-size electric vehicle on the market today.

Gridserve has plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in the future.

The Electric Forecourt also includes a retail space hosting partners including WHSmith Travel, Costa Coffee, Booths, Post Office, and Gourmade.

The facility also includes a waiting lounge, free wi-fi, washrooms, dedicated children’s area, wellbeing area with exercise bikes that generate electricity, and business meeting room pods.

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