Hitachi Capital UK has partnered with sustainable energy solutions provider, GRIDSERVE, to provide a boost to the UK’s renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.
The financial services firm has provided a £10 million loan facility to GRIDSERVE to develop a network of more than 100 solar powered electric forecourts to provide fast, dependable charging for EVs. The charging infrastructure is expected to be delivered over the next five years alongside a series of hybrid solar farms.
Robert Gordon (pictured above), chief executive officer of Hitachi Capital UK, explained: “The response to the current pandemic has highlighted the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. We now have a real opportunity, through flagship programmes like this, to create the infrastructure needed to fast-track EV adoption across the UK and meet the government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“Hitachi Capital’s established relationship with car manufacturers and brokers complements GRIDSERVE’s expertise in solar energy and battery storage and plans to build state-of-the-art electric forecourts powered using 100% renewable energy generated from solar farms. Our partnership marks a real step change in addressing range anxiety caused by the lack of available charging stations currently available throughout the country.
“Our intention is to become a market leader for EV adoption and this announcement, along with our commitment that 20% of our assets will support sustainable business projects over the next five years, shows our determination to deliver on that promise.”
Furthermore, during 2020, Hitachi Capital invested more than £24 million in GRIDSERVE projects including funding to help complete the first electric forecourt in Braintree, Essex.
Each electric forecourt is expected to provide space for 36 vehicles to charge simultaneously at a rate of up to 350 kW from its superchargers, providing 200 miles of range in 20 minutes. The network of forecourts will be supplied with zero carbon solar energy which, when combined with large battery storage systems, will be able to deal with the intermittent nature of solar power.
Toddington Harper (pictured above), chief executive officer of GRIDSERVE Sustainable Energy, added: “Our strategic partnership with Hitachi Capital marks a major milestone in GRIDSERVE’s journey. As well as providing significant financial backing to accelerate our ability to deliver sustainable energy and meet net zero carbon emission targets in the earliest possible timeframes, Hitachi Capital has an unrivalled wealth of experience, knowledge, resources, and expertise to support our collective success. We look forward to launching our first electric forecourt together in a few months and delivering many additional projects over the next few years.”
In addition to the loan facility, Hitachi Capital and GRIDSERVE are working together on various green energy focused projects including electrification of the UK bus network.
Furthermore, the two companies recently set up an EV leasing business which aims to reduce the cost of owning an EV well below that of petrol or diesel cars and minimize their environmental impact.